With preliminary trials complete, SSI-Mantra would be instrumental in bringing down the cost of robotic surgery to one-third, says Dr. Sudhir Rawal of RGCI.
Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center (RGCI), New Delhi, has completed preliminary clinical trials for SSI-Mantra, a surgical robot that is indigenously built in India. 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 at RGCI and one of the pioneers of robotic surgeries in India.
“Realizing the vision of the prime minister for developing cutting-edge technologies and innovation reflecting Indian realities, RGCI has been actively collaborating for developing the first made in 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 SSI-Mantra-2 was developed. After doing some further modifications, SSI-Mantra-2 has been regularly used at RGCI in all complicated surgeries.
RGCI has undertaken the maximum number of robotic surgeries in the country for cancer treatment. Dr. Rawal has undertaken 4,000 robotic surgeries, the highest by any cancer surgeon in the country.
Robotic surgery has revolutionized the world of minimally invasive surgery for cancers of the genito-urinary tract (urology), gynecological cancers, gastro-intestinal cancer, and head and neck, and lung cancer. The advantage of robotic surgery is the greater precision and dexterity it offers, enhanced visualization, 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, pain and 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 and -III cities could soon become a reality.