Dexterous robots for cancer patients

Vattikuti Technologies puts in motion ambitious plan to train 500 Robotic Surgeons to advance the specialty in over 100 hospitals by 2020

Robotic Surgery is set for rapid growth as hospitals embrace new-age, computer-assisted, surgical robots. By 2020, more than 100 hospitals across 25 Indian cities, are expected to get dexterous robots with 3-D vision to assist in surgeries

Robotic surgeries provide succor to patients suffering from prostrate, gynecological, head & neck, lung and colorectal cancer as the chances of errors are minimized, procedures don’t cause scarring and recovery is faster.

Currently there are 190 robotic surgeons in India across 30 hospitals. The plan is to expand the pool of accomplished robotic surgeons to 500 by 2020 and cover 100 hospitals.

Vattikuti Foundation has formulated a comprehensive plan, addressing three critical components–surgeon training, geographic reach and complete packages, which benefit the economically weaker sections–was announced here, today, by its founder Raj Vattikuti, a US based IT entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The plan is tailor-made for India, as the number of cancer cases has risen alarmingly but only 36 per cent of the reported cases got treated. Moreover, nearly 76 per cent of cancer patients hailed from non-urban areas, where access to cancer detection and treatment is a distant dream. The need therefore is to expand the pool of trained surgeons to non- metro cities.

“We will grow the pool of accomplished Robotic surgeons to 500 besides motivating young surgeons to adopt robotic surgery. As its contribution, Vattikuti Foundation, will offer 100 paid fellowships to super specialist surgeons, over the next 5 years, to become Robotic surgeons,” says Raj Vattikuti, who has been evangelizing Robotic Surgery in India since 2010 through The Vattikuti Foundation.

“Even though 4,000 robot-assisted surgeries were performed in 2015, representing a five-fold increase in 5 years, India has not even scratched its potential, as the benefit can be passed to the masses beyond metro locations,” adds Raj Vattikuti.

Vattikuti Technologies, which makes available da Vinci Surgical Robots, from Intuitive Surgical Inc. in India, will work with Government Cancer hospitals, Corporate Healthcare chains, and Trusts, to acquire the most appropriate Surgical Robots.

“Vattikuti Technologies and Intuitive Surgical shall work together to offer hospitals special price points as they achieve 450 procedure mark over three years. This move will ensure availability of cancer surgery closer home for patients at prices that make robotic surgery affordable to the masses,” says Gopal Chakravarthy, CEO, Vattikuti Technologies.

Adoption of Robotic Surgery by government hospitals will ensure treatment to people who can’t afford private healthcare but deserve the latest medical attention. The government hospitals typically adopt a dual pricing system–charge only those who can afford.

There are many benefits of robotic surgery such as it minimizes blood loss, reduces post- operative recovery time and brings precision in executing the procedure which saves healthy tissue from damage. The quick healing helps the patient to stay shorter at the hospital.

Robotic surgery scores over conventional surgery, as it minimizes blood loss, drastically reduces the post-operative recovery time, and brings precision in executing the procedure, thus saving healthy tissue from damage. The pain is minimize as Robotic arms enter the body via tiny incisions, healing is quicker for the patient, scarring is minimal and savings on pain management are significant.

As the incidence of tongue and mouth cancers are very high in India, Head and Neck surgery for cancer at the base of the tongue can best be undertaken using the Robot, with least pain and scarring to the patient.

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