City docs perform country’s 1st robotic-assisted surgery

Posted On Tuesday, 04 July 2017 10:40

surgeryAchieving yet another feat, doctors in Pune performed the country's first robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery on Monday.A 65-year-old man from Pimpri, who was suffering from terminal knee arthritis (tri-compartmental arthritis secondary to rheumatoid arthritis), successfully underwent the surgery.

The robotic assisted total knee replacement surgery is claimed to facilitate faster recovery, early discharge, minimal pain and blood loss. It enables the surgeon to replace only the damaged part of the knee, saving all the other normal structures and healthy tissues, which are otherwise replaced in total knee replacement surgery.

It has opened up a host of possibilities while raising hopes to millions of patients suffering from end-stage osteoarthritis of the knee, doctors told TOI.

The technology has been procured by two more hospitals in Delhi and Hyderabad. However, the Pune-based Lokmanya Hospital has become the first in the country to successfully use it.

"It is a game changer surgery. It's proven outcome has been fantastic as revision/failure rates have significantly reduced. This technology overcomes the mal-alignment of the prosthesis (knee implant) and its subsequent loosening," joint replacement surgeon Narendra Vaidya, who performed the surgery, said.

Vaidya has carried out more than 150 robotic-assisted partial knee replacement (unicompartmental) knee replacement surgeries in the past.

Knee osteoarthritis not only causes pain and disability but also takes a huge toll on the entire family and the society at large.

Beyond certain stage (stage II), medicines, physiotherapy and other arthroscopic interventions are not useful in the treatment of arthritis and such patients require total knee replacement as a definitive treatment.

Total knee replacement is a time-tested and proven method to treat terminal arthritis. However, it involves prolonged hospitalisation and physiotherapy.

"However, the robotic-assisted surgery offers the patient a huge advantage of early recovery, discharge and minimal pain and blood loss," Vaidya said.

Keeping in view the need of a large number of patients requiring this technology, the hospital has decided not to add any cost of robotic instrumentation to the patients.

"The technology is available to common man at Lokmanya Hospital at the same cost as that of conventional surgery," he added.

The technology helps the patient get the discharge in three days as against seven to eight days in conventional surgery. "As against prolonged physiotherapy post-discharge, there is the minimal amount of post-operative physiotherapy involved in the robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery," Vaidya said.
The live webcast of the robotic surgery was watched by over 400 doctors in the Western Maharashtra. The surgery was performed in the presence of robotic orthopedic surgeon Vivek Neginhal from the US-based Scott Orthopedic Centre, a leading global expert in this field.
The conventional total knee replacement surgery involves cutting of bones and ligaments. "There are chances of human error. Use of rods to stabilize the prosthesis to the joint may lead to life-threatening complications like pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, and stroke," experts said.
They added that the new technique helps in achieving accuracy and alignment of implant thus enhancing the life of the prosthesis.

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