India’s premier medical institute All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has added another feather in its cap by marking another milestone as the institute’s doctors have successfully used a robot to perform a complex chest surgery, thoracoscopic thymectomy that is used in the treatment of a rare muscle disorder called myasthenia gravis.
This is the first time in India in account of robotic chest surgery, which any government hospital has done so far. However, AIIMS before this has successfully performed 255 urologic surgeries with the help of robots.
Since Monday, AIIMS witnessed six robotic chest surgeries, which were performed by senior surgeon and professor of surgery department Dr. Arvind Kumar with two German doctors, who assisted Dr. Kumar and especially came to India for this purpose.
Dr. Arvind, who led all the six surgery, informed media that Doctors at AIIMS had already used video assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) thymectomy, or removal of thymus gland for almost 200 patients over the last eight years, but this is for the first time, we (AIIMS doctors) have used robots for this complex chest surgery.
Illustrating the procedure, he added that in this robotic surgery, the doctors do not need to dissect whole chest as they usually do in the traditional /open chest surgery nor need to break the rib bones or the sternum bone for the operation, while in this robotic operation, only three incursions of one centimeter each need to do in the left chest, which prevents huge bleeding and also reduces the rehabilitation period seven time less.
Moreover, the robotic arm is designed in such a way that can reach the interior part of the organ curvature, which is not possible in traditional or microscopic surgery without damaging normal tissues. “The robotic surgery is the future of the surgery,” said Dr. Arvind.
In robotic surgery, doctors guide the robot from a special compartment; out of four arms of robots, two arms perform the surgery, one holds a camera while the last one is on stand by for any other assistance. The surgery took three to four hours and patients take few months to be completely healthy.
Describing about the disease, Dr. Arvind said, myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease, which makes the nervous and muscular muscle weak, generates walking and chewing problems, and double vision. The Thymus gland is liable for this rare disease, which can be treated be medicine or later by surgery.
In surgery, the Thymus gland is removed and it is usually performed in two ways, traditional and Video Assisted Thoracoscopic (VAT). The VAT surgery has an advantage that it leaves minimal scars and need to do only three tiny incisions in the left chest through which the surgical instruments along with a small scope is introduced into the body and the surgery is carried out with the help of a visual monitor.
The difference between robotic and VAT surgery is that the surgeon uses a specialized console with monitor to perform the surgery, said Dr. Arvind.
“The thymus gland plays an important role in the development of the immune system in early life. In infants, the size of the gland is really big and covers almost the entire chest, but with age the size reduces and has no role to play in the body. It is full of fat. In nearly 75% of myasthenia gravis patients, the size of the thymus gland is considerably big and the functioning is abnormal,” he added.
ANEEL KUMARAugust 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM