Home Articles How World’s First Remote Surgery was Performed in India

How World’s First Remote Surgery was Performed in India

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Gujarat Chief Minister watching Dr Patel performing world's first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention. Photo: Kind courtesy CMO Gujarat/Twitter

Recently, in Gujarat, an Indian doctor performed world’s first robotic heart surgery 30 km away from patient. Read on to know more…

Recently, in Gujarat, an Indian doctor performed world’s first robotic heart surgery 30 km away from patient. For those of you, who don’t have an idea on remote robotic surgery — tele-robotic remote surgery is performed at a distance from the patient from a remote location using robotically controlled instruments. It is enabled by computer technology and advanced robotics. On 5th of this month, a crucial breakthrough in medical science was achieved in Gujarat when cardiac surgeon Dr Tejas Patel conducted the world’s first telerobotic surgery on a patient in Ahmedabad.

Dr Patel, who is the chief interventional cardiologist at Ahmedabad-based Apex Heart Institute, guided the robot to perform the surgery on the patient from the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, around 32 kilometres away. The patient was a middle-aged woman with a blocked artery. Technically speaking, this is the world’s first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention on a patient located remotely in Ahmedabad.

The scene was witnessed by the state’s chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani. The CM’s office took to Twitter to excitedly share the news:

‘Gujarat CM Shri @vijayrupanibjp today witnessed the world’s first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention, a historical breakthrough in medical science, performed by Dr.Tejas Patel from Akshardham in Gandhinagar on a patient located 32 kms away in Ahmedabad,’ was the tweeted message.

The success of the project has the potential to dramatically improve the access of doctors to patients with heart and stroke ailments, especially in rural and under-served areas. Chief minister Vijay Rupani said the government will explore the use of this technology to provide quality and specialized healthcare to rural areas.

Robotics & Remote Surgery
Dr Patel has been widely using robotics for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) or heart surgery, but this is the first time in the world that the surgery was conducted from a remote location outside the operation theatre using 100 MBPS jio bandwidth connectivity and telerobotic facility in place.

“This procedure could have been done with a 20mbps connectivity speed as well. I believe this will not just transform coronary (heart related) intervention, but the entire vascular space. It has the capability of changing the lives of millions of people living in rural areas,” the doctor said.

For the robotic surgery, Dr Patel used the Corpath technology of US-based Corindus Vascular Robotics and Mark Toland, the chief executive officer of Corindus could not have been prouder. “It was a matter of pride for the company to be associated with a procedure that could be used to provide quality healthcare on a larger scale,” Toland said.

In his statement released to the media Dr Tejas Patel, chairman and chief interventional cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute, said, “The first-in-human case of remote robotic PCI represents a landmark event for interventional medicine.”

Telerobotic coronary interventional platform has the potential to dramatically improve patient access for both elective and emergent percutaneous coronary interventions and stroke in rural and underserved populations. It will reduce time to treatment for emergent procedures such as STEMI and stroke and will also reduce variability in operator skills and thus, improve clinical outcomes.

Life Saving Technology
Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, Dr Patel said, are the number one cause of death worldwide resulting in nearly 18 million deaths per year. “The first-in-human case of remote robotic PCI represents a landmark event for interventional medicine. Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are the number one cause of death worldwide resulting in nearly 18 million deaths per year.” the doctor said.

“The application of telerobotics in India has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by providing access to care that may not otherwise have been possible. I am honoured for contributing to this historic groundbreaking research which is going to earn a lot of glory and global respect for my country.”

Talking about his inspiration for the achievement, Dr Patel said, “I dedicate this breakthrough to His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj whose heart I had the privilege to take care of. His heart made a difference to my heart and through this technology I want to make a difference to millions of hearts.”

This is indeed a life-saving technology and truly inspiring breakthrough in medical science.

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