Robotic Surgery has made its mark in top Indian cities – its precision and accuracy helping surgeons achieve superior patient outcomes. Now it is set to make inroads into tier two cities in the country as well. Buoyed by a robust 50 per cent growth in the number of da Vinci Surgical robots deployed in Indian hospitals in the last one year, its distributor Vattikuti Technologies has drawn up an ambitious expansion plan.
Vattikuti Technologies is planning a roadshow in smaller towns and cities to familiarize surgeons and hospitals administrators with computer-assisted surgeries that can vanquish various forms of cancers, including in Urology, Gynaecology, Thoracic, Paediatric, and Head & Neck area.
The expansion plan could not have come at a better time as the spread of cancer is relentless across India. According to the National Cancer Registry there are 15 lakh new cancer cases every year, a prevalence of over 30 lakh cancer cases at any point of time and over 680,000 deaths a year. Although early detection saves lives, just one in eight Indians call on a doctor in the early stages. Only one in every three reported cases gets treated for cancer. The reason: non-availability of cancer detection and treatment in non-urban areas from where nearly 76 per cent of cancer patients come from.
Roving Robot launched, to travel to Tier 2 and 3 cities
Non-availability of trained surgeons, cost of computer assisted procedures and equipment are all constraints challenging the spread of robotic surgery into tier 2 and 3 towns. To address these constraints, Vattikuti Technologies and Intuitive Surgical Inc. USA and Vattikuti Foundation will showcase the technology to surgeons and hospital administrators in 20 cities over the next six months by mounting the surgical robot on a mobile vehicle. The da Vinci Surgical Robot on the special mobile vehicle will simulate an operation theatre setting as it gives exposure to doctors in smaller towns.
“The Roving Robot will help surgeons in smaller towns experience the immense capabilities of a da Vinci Surgical Robot 3-dimensional HD vision system and 10 times magnification for removal of affected tissue while retaining healthy tissue with tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. This enables superior outcome, quick recovery and therefore reduced hospital stays,” says Gopal Chakravarthy, CEO, Vattikuti Technologies.
Da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate minimally invasively through a few small incisions or the belly button from a nearby ergonomic console. As a result of this technology, da Vinci allows surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.
Vattikuti Technologies are the exclusive marketing and clinical support partners of Surgical Robot makers Intuitive Surgical Inc., USA. To ensure affordability of robotic surgery for cancer patients from hospitals in smaller cities and towns, Vattikuti Technologies and Intuitive Surgical will offer hospitals the da Vinci Robot along with instruments required for the next three years at a special price point.
Several eminent surgeons such as Dr Arvind Kumar, Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital; Dr Gagan Gautam, Head of Urologic Oncology & Robotic Surgery, Max Institute of Cancer Care; Dr. N.P. Gupta, Chairman, Kidney & Urology Institute, Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon; Dr Rama Joshi, Director, Gynae Oncology Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon have endorsed and highlighted the benefits of robotic surgery in areas of their specialisation. According to them robotic surgery causes less trauma with surgeon being in full control of the entire procedure.
Vattikuti Foundation is also helping to bridge the training gap by supporting a pool of accomplished Robotic Surgeons by way of bi-annual Robotic Surgeons Conferences, paid fellowships, webinars. These workshops have seen a groundswell of interest from surgeons in smaller town and cities.
Since July 2016, Intuitive authorized Training and Certification center at Amrita Hospital in Kochi has trained over 100 multi-specialty surgeons from India and neighboring countries. This dual console da Vinci centre can conduct porcine based training program for 150. “We have a pool of 275 trained surgeons who are willing to give their best to the patients as also to expand the pool of surgeons to help train them,” adds Mr Chakravarthy.
The Roving Robot will travel to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Muzaffarnagar, Bhopal, Indore, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Vizag, Rajamundry, Vijayawada, Ongole, Tirupati, Vellore, Trichy, Madurai, Trivandrum, Kochi, Calicut, Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum, Goa over the next 6 months.