For the first time in history, a Gujarat doctor performed a telerobotic heart surgery on a patient 30 km away from him at an Ahmedabad hospital.
Dr Tejas Patel, who was at the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, guided a robot to perform the surgery on a middle-aged patient with a blocked artery. Tele-robotic surgery is performed at a distance on the patient from a remote location using robotically controlled instruments. It is enabled by computer technology and advanced robotics.
Stenting is the process through which a tiny tube made of metal mesh is inserted into the passageway of a blocked artery to keep it open. Through the robotic telesurgery, Dr Patel used a console to control a robot who carried out the surgery at a distance.
Dr Patel has been widely using robotics for heart surgery, but this is the first time in the world that the surgery was conducted from a remote location outside the operation theatre. “This procedure could have been done with a 20mbps connectivity speed as well. I believe this will not just transform coronary (heart-related) intervention, but the entire vascular space. It has the capability of changing the lives of millions of people living in rural areas,” the doctor said.
According to doctors around the world, robotic surgeries are considered more accurate than the manual ones because human hands have some limitations that robotic hands don’t. The human hand can work only with 10mm precision, while a robotic hand has 1mm precision, ensuring minimum damage to the organ itself, said Dr Patel.