Robotics are increasingly being used in modern medicine, and in the Indian city of Bangalore, they are being used to enable doctors to perform ever-more precise procedures and the result is an improved image in the world of medical tourism.
An article in DNA India tells the tale of Anjana, who developed a tumor in her kidney. Traditionally, the procedure called for would be the removal of the kidney, but in Anjana’s case, she wanted to preserve the kidney, so she traveled to Bangalore to receive a procedure called robot-assisted Partial Nephrectomy.
In this procedure, the doctor is assisted by an advanced robotic system, allowing for the excision of only the tumor, and sparing the kidney. After surgery, Anjana only had to stay three days in hospital, and was able to return to work within two weeks. Procedures like this have seen Bangalore’s standing as a medical tourism destination rise as patients from the Middle East, Africa, Australia, The Netherlands, Denmark, Russia and Sri Lanka travel to Bangalore to take advantage of this cutting edge technology.
In addition to the field of urology, the ability for robotic assisted surgery in the field of gynecology is also promising. According to Dr. Gayarthi Karthik, consultant gynecologist at Bangalore’s Manipal Hospital, “The robot can be used in removal of fibroids, removal of uterus, hysterectomy, recanalisation of fallopian tubes in patients with blocked tubes or when sterilization is to be reversed, endometriosis surgery and surgery for cervical and uterine cancers.”
Most gynecological procedures can be assisted-by robots, and it is the opinion of Dr. Karthik that the advances in this field and the availability in Bangalore have boosted Bangalore’s image as a medical tourism destination.
A final field that is benefiting from the advances in robotics is in cancer treatment. The robotic assistance allows for much more accurate and targeted application of the radiation treatment, affecting less surrounding tissue.
As Dr. Sridhar P S, consulting radiation oncologist at Healthcare Global, puts it, “Earlier, we faced the problem where we did not achieve accurate radiation. So, if there were tumors in the lungs, radiation would affect the surrounding areas. However, with the help of robotic radiation, there is little damage done to the surrounding areas.”
The benefits from a medical tourism perspective are great. Not only the advancements in procedures available, and the quality of these procedures, but the increased accuracy allows for a smaller surgical site, which leads to reduced recovery times, and more time not stuck in a hospital.
Dr N. K. Venkataramana, vice-chairman and chief neurosurgeon of BGS Global Hospitals said, “Surgeons are increasingly resorting to minimally invasive surgeries wherever possible. The advantages of this technology are minimal damage to tissue and less invasiveness, lesser hospital stay, speedy ambulation of patient, less pain and cosmetically aesthetic with a smaller scar. Robotics will definitely help to achieve these goals with much more precision.