SKIMS plans to introduce robotic surgeries

Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) is mulling to introduce robotic surgeries at the Institute to make advanced interventions in complicated health issues possible in J&K.

A high-level meeting was convened by heads of various surgical departments at the institute recently to discuss possibility of introducing high-end robotic surgical system.

Following the meeting a proposal was submitted to the institute administration seeking “procurement of robotic surgery system” with teaching simulator and dual console for surgical disciplines.

Director SKIMS Prof Omar Javed Shah said the Institute was finalising the proposal and was expecting a positive response from the Government.

“This (robotics) is the future of surgery,” he said, adding although the surgery is done by humans the robot minimises the human contact.

“There is refinement of surgical outcomes and skill enhancement with robotics,” he said.

As per the proposal the new system would improve efficacy of surgeons and patient care and has advantage over traditional surgical methods.

The robotic surgery offers better cancer control, less blood loss, low risk of wound infection and faster recovery and return to routine activities.

A senior doctor said the robot was being used in all advanced healthcare facilities for 3D vision and 360-degree rotation of instruments, useful for performing complex operations.

This technology is being planned to be introduced in urology, colorectal surgery, gyneacology, ENT and thoracic surgery. “Naturally occurring hand tremors are filtered by robot’s computer software to allow precise and fine movements,” the faculty and heads who were part of the meeting agreed upon, stressing upon imperativeness of its procurement.

A SKIMS official said the robotic system would cost around Rs 20 crore and will be immensely beneficial for patients.

“In absence of this technology, in another decade, we may be losing patients as well as students who would be looking for the most advanced treatment and education options,” he said.

The SKIMS has DM and MCh students from across India on its rolls through NEET. The Institute was conceived as an apex institute on the lines of AIIMS New Delhi to provide state-of-art treatment and medical education in J&K.

However, a senior faculty member at the institute said that over the years, the stagnation in faculty enhancement as well as delay in development of required infrastructure in line with advancements in medical sciences to cater to increased inflow of patients has resulted in deterioration of the Institute.

He said the Chief Secretary during his visit to SKIMS earlier this year had acknowledged the need to introduce robotic surgery at SKIMS.

“It is high time that state government pays the attention SKIMS deserves and help it regain the glory it was once known for in the entire country,” he said.

An official said that AIIMS introduced robotic surgery a decade ago and the institute was in the process of getting advanced robots for specialities like pedia surgery.