Robotic Surgery not Cost-effective in India, Says Expert
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06 June 2011
Pune , India
The cost involved in robotic surgery (computer or robot-assisted surgery) has prevented its rapid spread in India and it will take another five years for the surgery to become cost-effective and popular.
This was stated by Robert K Zurawin director, fellowship programme for minimally invasive gynaecology surgery, at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas. He was speaking at the international conference of the Indian Association of Gynaecological Endoscopists (IAGE) on Friday.
Ateam of international and national experts performed 25 endoscopy surgeries at the Ruby Hall clinic as part of the conference. Zurawin said that there had been advancements in robotic surgery and the method was now in the mainstream in the US. "In this surgery, specially designed instruments mimic the dexterity of the human hand and wrist.
The method is useful for surgery to treat prostate and gynaecological cancers, and colon surgery. Robotic surgery involves enhanced precision and reduced trauma to patient and is useful in advanced and complex surgeries," he said.
However, Zurawin said that robotic surgeries would take some time to be a regular feature in India. This is because of the cost involved. The cost of robots is very high, to the tune of Rs 6 crore, and the instruments Zurawin pointed out that the country had good doctors but there needed to be focus on training and infrastructure. "I would like to bring an advanced fellowship training programme to India to develop teaching capabilities and impart training. On the patient side, there needs to be greater awareness on preventive healthcare, like regular screening and pap test for cervical cancer," he said.
The other international experts who operated the patients included Peter von Theobald from France and Jon Ivar Einarsson from the US. Sunita Tandulwadkar, who is the head, gynaecology department, Ruby Hall Clinic, and organising chairperson of the conference, said that the surgeries and the continuous relay from operation theatres to the auditorium was done to expose practitioners to the and correct methods that they could learn for the betterment of patients.
The endoscopy surgeries were performed to remove uterus, fibroids, cysts and for urinary inconsistency.