Robotic surgery machine at CHK made functional with SIUT funds

Karachi:11May:England-based surgeons training SIUT doctors in removing kidneys, tumours, glands

A team of two specialised surgeons from England has performed six surgeries by using a robotic surgery machine at the OT Complex of the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) in the last three days, The News has learnt.

The robotic machine had been lying non-functional for the past couple of years, but recently the Sindh government and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) shared funds for its repair and made it functional.

The machine will help doctors perform surgeries, including partial nephrectomy and radical nephrectomy, which means surgical removal of cancerous tumors and non-functional kidneys.

“The robotic surgery machine at the OT Complex of the CHK has been revived and repaired with the sharing of financial resources from the Sindh government and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and now this machine would be used by the surgeons of both CHK and SIUT,” a senior surgeon at the CHK told The News on Saturday.

Urological surgeons Prof Shamim Khan and Dr Archie Fernando from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College School of Medicine, London, were invited by the SIUT to perform various urological procedures, using the robotic machine and to train a team of young and mid-level surgeons at the institute in performing robotic surgeries, said the CHK surgeon on condition of anonymity.

“So far, the Surgical Unit IV of CHK has performed two surgeries by using the robotic surgery machine, while England-based urological surgeons have performed at least six surgical procedures, including partial and radical nephrectomies, prostatectomy or removal of prostate gland, removal of cancerous tumours and kidneys infected with renal cell carcinomas.”

Dubbed as ‘Da Vinci Surgical System’, robotic surgery is a machine-controlled procedure performed by a surgeon sitting at a giant state-of-the-art console overseeing and performing the surgery without the assistance of any other surgeon or technician.

“In fact, the robotic surgery machine is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer a modern minimal invasive option for a major surgeries,” the Civil Hospital doctor said.

He further stated that with the help of the Da Vinci Surgical System, small incisions are made to insert miniaturised wristed instruments and a high-definition 3D camera, and the surgeon sitting at the console views a magnified high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site inside a patient’s body.

“This latest technology with the help of sophisticated computer scale down, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements with the Da Vinci instruments,” he said, adding that it is called a robot, but it cannot move on its own; there is always a surgeon who fully controls it.

It was further learnt that a team of SIUT surgeons, including assistant and associate professors in surgery, were being trained by the UK-based urological surgeons and they were being asked to replicate surgeries by using the simulator of the robotic surgery machine in the supervision of foreign surgeons.

“Prof Shamim Khan is a renowned surgeon of Pakistani origin, while Dr Archie Fernando is of Sri Lankan origin. They both are training the SIUT surgeons in using the robotic platform and equipment in carrying out the surgeries.”

The CHK surgeon said at least eight surgeries had been performed at the OT Complex by using the robotic machine, of which six had been carried out by the SUIT team headed by the visiting surgeons.

“At least for three days, SIUT surgeons would be performing their procedures, while for the rest of the days in the week, surgeons of CHK would carry out surgeries with the help of the robotic machine as per our agreement with the SIUT management.”The news.