Soon, robots, instead of doctors, will be performing certain surgeries in the central government-run Safdarjung hospital. The hospital is in the process of buying a robot at an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore to carry out surgeries. The poor will be provided this facility for free while those admitted in private wards will have to pay a subsidised amount.
Robotic surgeries cost around Rs four to five lakh in private hospitals, Anup Kumar, professor and head of the department of urology and renal transplant at Safdarjung Hospital, said. In the procedure, surgical instruments are mounted on robotic arms which will be operated by the surgeon.
“The surgeon will sit in a console which will have a screen with a 3D view of the patient’s body. His hand movements at the console will be transmitted to the robotic arms placed over patients body. “During the entire procedure, the camera transmits live 3D images to the surgeon’s console. It is like a laproscopic surgery,” Kumar said. He said the state-of-the-art technology, to begin with, will be used for kindey transplants, for operating on urologic cancers, including the prostrate and bladder, and in all complex reconstructive surgeries.
“If it works out well then we will buy more robots for other departments,” he said. He said that with the help of robotic surgery, the duration of operations will come down drastically which will reduce the waiting time.
“For instance, for removing a cancerous prostate, the conventional method usually takes around four hours. Using this technology, the operation can be performed in about one hour,” Kumar said.