Ahmedabad: Doctor uses robotic arm to remotely operate on a patient 35 km away

Dr Tejas Patel carried out the world's first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention surgery.

Seen as a historic medical breakthrough, a patient who was in a catheterization laboratory at Apex Hospital, 35 km away, was operated upon with robotic arms by interventional cardiologist Dr Tejas Patel from the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Conducted successfully on Wednesday, this surgery became the world’s first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention surgery.

Image credit: AhmedabadMirror

The first of its kind surgery was performed on a woman from Kalol who had a blockage. Dr Patel operated the robot remotely to gain entry into the artery and inserted the balloon that would open the blockage.

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The Apex Heart Institute is the first facility outside the US to introduce robotic procedures for the heart. Dr Patel, a Padma Shree awardee used CorPath GRX, a vascular robotic system developed by US-based Corindus installed at his hospital, to carry out the surgery.

Speaking after successfully conducting the surgery, Dr Patel said that technologies like these would eventually help specialist operate on patients even in remote areas without wasting time. He furthered that this revolutionary method would especially be important as there was an acute shortage of specialists in our country, and, “with just a cath lab and paramedics we can have one specialist for 60 villages at a time,” he said.

“Sometimes time is the essence in many cases and bringing the patient to the specialist may lead to critical delay. With telerobotic intervention we can avoid the delay,” said Dr Patel.

The robotic system comprises three parts:

  1. A cath lab-integrated robotic arm.
  2. A cockpit, from where the cardiologist commands the robot through a joystick.
  3. A replaceable cassette, which carries the clinical materials for each individual case requirement.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani along with Brahmachari Swami and Ishwarcharan Swami was present with Dr Patel at Akshardham Temple, from where he conducted the surgery.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, applauding the effort, said the government would explore technologies such as this to ensure that cutting-edge health care is made available to even those in far-flung areas. “It can also be of use to our soldiers on the borders who may be in need of cutting-edge healthcare,” said Rupani.


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