August 14, 2022

The revolutionary Uniportal Robotic Surgery for complex thoracic procedures, available for the first time in India at Apollo Hospitals

Staff Reporter –

The two-day Uniportal Robotic Surgery Workshop, was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group,  today. This novel technique is being performed for the first time in India at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. Uniportal Robotic Surgery involves robotic arms performing the surgery through a single 3 cm incision made in the chest. It’s a boon for performing critical and complex cardiothoracic surgeries with greater efficiency and precision coupled with the best possible outcomes. These surgeries being minimally invasive, bring down the rate of post-surgical complications, mortality, infections and hospital stay drastically. Uniportal robotic surgery is being performed in select European countries currently and Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, is the only facility in south east Asia, with expertise to perform this high-end surgery.

The team of cardiothoracic surgeons at Apollo Hospitals, led by Dr Manjunath Bale, Consultant Robotic and Minimal Access Surgeon, Apollo Health City; is performing the first ever Uniportal Robotic Surgery in the country, in collaboration with Dr Diego Gonzalez Rivas, Robotic and Vats Surgeon from Spain. Dr Rivas pioneered the procedure in September 2021 in Spain and since then he performed it in many countries.

In Uniportal Robotic Surgery, a single minor incision is made between the ribs to insert the camera and instruments into the patient’s chest, instead of ripping open the chest with a large incision as is done in a conventional cardiothoracic surgery. The surgeon has a crystal clear, magnified vision of the interior of thepatient on a screen and performs the surgery using specialized instruments. The robot has a master slave model which moves in synchrony with the surgeon’s movements on the console and replicates the movements inside the human body.  

Cardiothoracic surgeries are considered the most risky of all with high rate of post-surgical mortality. Uniportal Robotic procedure ushers in a new era and transforms the way thoracic surgeries are performed. Its surgeon and patient friendly, brings in unmatched precision and unrivalled outcomes, says Dr Manjunath Bale. 

The new procedure can treat several pleural and lung conditionsincluding the most complex surgeries which carried high quotient of risk hitherto with conventional surgery. This procedure presents multiple advantages with much better outcomes. For surgeons the robot enables better control and manoeuvrability of surgical instruments, magnified visibility through 3D view and easy accessto the operating area through supple robot instruments, resulting inhigh precision outcomes. From patient’s perspective, each of thechest space has nerves, when multiple spaces are opened for surgery, several nerves are mutilated leading to in intense and prolongedpain, as in an open surgery. A single incision will reduce the number of injured nerves hence is less painful. This minimally invasive surgery reduces hospital stay and expedites recovery due to diminishing complication risks and substantially reduces chances of catching infection. All this enables the patient to avoid long bouts of trauma and get back to work and his normal routine quickly.

The delegates at the Workshop comprised of leading thoracic surgeons and pulmonologist from across the country. Also present were Mr Y Subramanyam, Regional CEO, Apollo Hospitals, Telangana; Mr Tejasvi Rao, COO & Unit Head, Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills; Dr Manjunath Bale, Consultant Robotic & Minimal Access Surgeon, Apollo Health City; Dr Diego Gonzalez Rivas, Robotic and Vats Surgeon, Spain and Dr Vijay Dikshit, Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Apollo Health City. 

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