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India to get first robotic training centre for doctors

Saturday January 14, 2012 08:11:44 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Promising a new dimension to the future of robotic surgery in the country, India will soon be getting its first training centre for the technique, a robotic surgery firm said here Saturday.

"India has immense scope for robotic surgery. What we need is skilled manpower for doctors who can conduct the surgery. Vattikuti Foundation will open the first such training centre in Chennai by the end of this year for doctors from all over India," said Mahendra Bhandari, CEO of the Vattikuti Foundation, at the ongoing global robotics conference here.

"It will be our first step to help overcome the shortage of high-quality training on robotic surgery in India. The centre will provide services of skilled surgeons at affordable costs. By 2016, we expect 30,000 surgeries to be done annually with the new technology," Bhandari added.

The foundation has collaborated with hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities to provide robot-assisted surgeries. Among the government hospitals, All India Insitute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) conducted the first such surgery in 2008.

While the surgery is conducted by a four-armed robot, the movements of the robot are controlled by a trained doctor. An arm of the robot controls the camera and the other three hands manipulate the surgical instruments. The entire surgical process is observed via a high-definition 3D vision system known as the Da Vinci surgical robotic system.

According to experts, the surgery is expected to find more takers when the cost comes down in the times to come.

"Till now, the robot is manufactured by California-based Intuitive Surgical. One particular company maintains monopoly in the market, competetion could help us bring down the cost," said Gagan Gautam, senior consultant and head of uro-oncology and robotic surgery at the Medanta Kidney and Urology Institute.

"Robotic surgery cannot replace conventional surgery. But it has many advantages over traditional surgery since it is minimally invasive, reduces hospital stay of the patient by initiating a quick recovery, reduces blood loss and helps with greater precision and visualisation," Gautam said, adding that "there are lesser complication".

Robotic surgery is available for a range of conditions such as thoracic (throat), cardio-vascular (heart), urology, gynaecological surgery, and cancer surgeries among others.







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