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Surgery with the help of robots is soon going to be available for the first time in the Northeast India. B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) in Guwahati, Assam, has introduced a robo-assisted laparoscopic surgery machine acquired from Vattikuti Technologies, and has taken the initiative of training the surgeons in the Northeast for a week.

BBCI director Amal Chandra Kataki (seated) with the surgery machine at the cancer institute. Telegraph picture

“It (robotic technology) is not a specialised technology to treat a particular ailment but one of the most integral tools in an operation theatre to ensure precision and increase success rate. It is only a matter of time that we will have more of such machines. I want to make sure that when that happens there are trained surgeons here to operate those machines,” BBCI director Amal Chandra Kataki told The Telegraph.

A workshop was held in the institute last week where 200 surgeons from all over the Northeast participated. And the robotic machine was given to the institute during that workshop.

“So far, there are 46 robotic surgery machines across the country. The nearest to Assam is at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in Calcutta. The region is in need of such technology at the earliest,” Sanjay Mehrotra, national head of Vattikutti Technologies said.

A robo-assisted laparoscopic surgery machine is a remote controlled device which has four arms. Two arms are used for making incision, whereas the other two are come with a camera, forceps, scissors and other surgical devices necessary for surgery.

There is also a viewing port which will show 3D imaging of the surgery area. The machine is useful for conducting both laparoscopic and open surgery.

Sanjay Gogoi, head of urology and renal transplant department of Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon said, “The robotic arm can move in several ways that the manual laparoscopes can never do. It gives a better vision, and therefore, we don’t have to hold the camera manually.”

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