CHENNAI: A surgery controlled from a console? Sounds bizarre, but not really. A highly advanced robotic surgical system, the da Vinci Si is now part of the facilities available at Apollo Hospitals here. The system was launched by robotic surgery expert and Director of the Vattikuti Urology Institute Dr Mani Menon, who happens to be the first surgeon to do robotic prostatectomy in 2001.
Touted as one of the best robotic operating interfaces in the world, the da Vinci Si offers the surgeons high definition and three dimensional viewspace. The system has made an entry into Tamil Nadu under the aegis of the Apollo Vattikuti Institute of Robotic Surgery. The institute was also inaugurated on Friday. The da Vinci Si system entails controlled robotics and surgeons will be trained by experts from the VIU, attached to the Henry Ford Hospital, the US.
The Apollo Hospitals will initially use the system only for prostrate surgery. “There is nothing to fear as the robot has no mind of its own,” explained Dr Menon.
The machine has four robotic arms with endo-wrist architecture. “Technology is only as good as the hand that wields it,” said Apollo Hospitals Chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy, who added that a da Vinci Si procedure would be “75 per cent more expensive than the laparoscopic one”. The surgery cost would come down once 400 operations were done and once more machines were procured for the rest of the hospitals in the network. Now, the Apollo Hospitals in Kolkata also has the system.