Maiden tryst of SKIMS with state-of-the-art Robotics

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Though surgeries involving robotics are almost one-and-a-half decade old technology, the doctors at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) had maiden experience of the state-of-the-art machinery recently.

During the demonstration, the “master slave” was unveiled for hands on training of a group of surgeons. The robotic-assisted surgery, according to doctors, is an important leap towards patient care.

“There is precision, least blood loss and tissue deterioration,” said Dr Saleem Wani, head, department of Urology & Kidney transplant unit at the SKIMS.

While the technology has quickened the patient recovery, at the same time it is doctor-friendly too. “There is less fatigue and a surgeon can handle more cases with precisions,” explained Dr Wani.

According to Dr Wani a minor error during a surgery for prostate cancer (radical prostatectomy) can damage a nerve or a tissue resulting into erectile dysfunction and involuntary loss of urine in a male patient.

“All this has no scope in robotic surgery. The surgery can be performed with ease due to 360 degree maneuverability and 3D vision. This is really helpful for surgeons involved in carrying out surgeries of difficult organs like pelvis and thorax,” said Dr Wani.

Besides, with robotic the suturing of an organ is done with precision, fastening recovery of a patient.

The Robotics which dominate human surgeries involving urology, cardiovascular surgeries, colorectal surgeries, pediatric surgeries, neuro surgeries, head and neck surgeries and gynecological procedures, open heart surgeries and coronary artery bypass grafting and kidney transplant have however remained evasive from J&K for long.

Dr Wani cautioned that the skills of experienced surgeons will become “obsolete and insignificant” if Robotics was not introduced at SKIMS.

“We need it at an earliest as we are already lagging behind in this field for long,” he said.

The SKIMS is a tertiary care institute and a deemed university offering MBBS, MS, MCH and DM courses. “In absence of this technology I apprehend that post-doctoral candidates may opt out from the institute as they will be lacking necessary skills,” said Dr Wani.

He feared that in absence of the technology patients will opt for outside institute thus defeating the very purpose of establishment of SKIMS 37 years ago.

Interestingly, the US-based Kashmiri surgeon, Dr Khursheed Guru is renowned worldwide for robotic-assisted surgeries. However his Alma matter is yet to procure the technology.

An official said the robot was flown from an outside hospital to Srinagar for demonstration at different hospitals.