New Delhi: Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI) has completed preliminary clinical trials for SSI Mantra, India’s very own surgical robot. Ever since its launch, RGCI has been instrumental in validating the effectiveness and feasibility of this robotic system under the guidance of Dr Sudhir Rawal, Medical Director, RGCI.
“RGCI has been actively collaborating for developing the first make India surgical robot that will bring down the cost of robotic surgery to one-third making it far more affordable and accessible”, said Dr Rawal.
Incorporating the feedback from RGCI after 18 procedures were undertaken on SSI Mantra 1, a refined version of the surgical robot Mantra 2 was developed and after doing some further modifications Mantra 2 has been regularly used at RGCI in all complicated surgeries. RGCI has undertaken 40 surgeries on Mantra 2 and an average of three surgeries are being performed every week.
Robotic surgery has revolutionised the world of minimally invasive surgery for cancers of the genito-urinary tract (urology), gynaecological cancers, GI cancer, and head & neck, and lung cancer. The advantage of robotic surgery is the greater precision and dexterity it offers, enhanced visualisation, and the ability to reach smaller spaces in the body.
Robotic surgery has unique advantages over traditional open surgeries as the incision is very small, it causes less blood loss, less pain, lower incidence of wound infection. These factors translate into smooth, pain-free post-operative patient recovery and early discharge from the hospital.
So far, the higher expense has been a deterrent in the wider application of robotics in cancer surgeries. India is grossly underserved when it comes to having access to the safer procedures offered by robotic surgeries. However, with the launch of SSI Mantra, the technology is poised to become more affordable and accessible. The use of robots in medium size hospitals in even tier II-III cities could soon become a reality.