Robot as a tool is only as good as a Surgeon

Medanta starts robotic surgery training program, first in Asia

New Delhi: Robotic surgery is safe- claiming this is a complete fallacy. Robot as a tool is only as good as a surgeon handling it.

If joysticks are in the hands of a greenhorn, the mishap could be as fatal as in other manners of surgeries. On the other hand, in the hands of a trained surgeon, robot is spot on. The deftness of the surgeon filters best into the outcome.  But in no way, a mishap can be imputed upon the robot which a handmaid of the surgeon on consol. Hence, training is a critical component in robotic surgery.

There are not very many trained robotic surgeon in India. If robotic surgery has to be the gold standard, a comprehensive training program needs to be launched to have a large number of robotic surgeons. The greatest advantage of robot is that it can easily mimic the manoeuvrability of human hand and reach the inaccessible part of body inside so far.

Medanta – The Medicity has taken a lead in producing home grown robotic surgeons in keeping with the credo of central government’s flagship Skill India program. It has started Asia’s first structured skill training program in Robotic Radical Prostatectomy. Before this, Indian surgeons had to go abroad, US or Europe, to get training at a great cost. Home training would reduce the cost remarkably. In the program on the carpet in Medianta, surgeons would be trained to offer safe prostate cancer surgery with minimum complications.

Unveiling the 3 month training of the first batch, Dr. N.P. Gupta, training head and Chairman, Kidney and Urology Institute, Medanta-The Medcity, said, ‘safety does not come automatically with robot as tool. Robot as a tool of surgery is commensurate with dexterity of a surgeon. The need of training amply underlines the fact. Of course, in the hands of trained surgeons, the robot is the best tool of surgery.  This training will go a long way in producing trained robotic surgeons for localized cancer prostate which is the 2nd most common cancer in men in India. One batch would consist of only 5 surgeons.’

Dr. Rajiv Yadav, Associate Director, Uro Oncology and Robotic Surgery and Dr. Manav Suryavanshi, Associate Director, Endo Urology & Robotic Surgery, who themselves got their training abroad at exorbitant costs, said, ‘The facility will help train surgeons from India as well as from neighbouring countries who earlier used to look towards US and Europe for such training. The program at Medanta will help in offering hands on experience in treating localised cancer prostrate.’

They, who would train surgeons, further said, ‘Robotic Radical Prostatectomy is highly technically skilled operation and has a learning curve. The advantages of robotic surgery are less blood loss, early recovery and less hospitalization. Also, with the advancement in technology, the complications of surgery have significantly reduced and patients do not require blood transfusion as well. However, training is important to achieve high level of skill to provide best outcome. This program at Medanta will offer dedicated lectures, offer lab training, and skill simulator training.

Dr. NP Gupta said, ‘We are training our young doctors with the aim to have safe surgery with minimum complications. Due to awareness in public & doctors, the number of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer is increasing. Robotic Radical Prostatectomy is becoming standard of care for treatment of localized prostate cancer. This training will make doctors perform the procedure with minimum complications and better outcomes.


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