Apollo Hospital leads the way in cardiac heart surgery

Based on inputs by Vijayalakshmi Nair

The surgeons at Apollo Hospitals, Bannerghatta road, Bangaluru have conducted cardiac surgeries on 27 patients using Robotic arms, assisted by trained surgeons.

As per hospital claims, it’s the first time in India that robotic apparatus is being used to conduct cardiac surgeries for valve replacement and closure of holes in the heart.

While robotic arm-assisted surgeries are conducted in other specialties, the technology has not been used before in India when it comes to cardiac care, says the hospital.

The procedures were conducted by Dr Sathyaki P Nambala, senior consultant, cardio thoracic and vascular surgeon and HOD.

The first surgery with the help of Da Vinci Xi surgical system was done on August 3, 2019 on a 32-year-old man who required heart valve replacement. “He was discharged on the third day of the surgery and he got back to work a week later,” said Dr Nambala.

In robotic surgery, the surgeon controls the robotic arms while seated at the console near the operating table. The surgeon can see the site of surgery in three-dimensional magnified view with higher definition. Of the four robotic arms controlled by the surgeon, one has the camera focusing on the surgical site, while the other three move as guided by the doctor.

“Robotic arms act like extended arms of the surgeon and overcome the limitations of human hands as they can rotate in any direction and can go inside the organ through smaller incisions,” said Dr Nambala.

“But there is minimal blood loss, no blood transfusion is required, hospital stay doesn’t usually extend beyond three days and recovery is easy with less infections. These aspects make the surgery cost-effective,” Dr Nambala told TOI.

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