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New robotic surgery training centre at AIIMS to transform healthcare: Experts

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The new robotic surgery training centre at AIIMS in the Capital will provide much-needed robotic surgery skills to hundreds of surgeons who can deliver better outcomes to patients by increasing access to high-quality medical care and reducing costs, experts said on Saturday.

AIIMS New Delhi and India Medtronic Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medtronic, this week announced the opening of a state-of-the-art surgical robotics training centre at the nation’s premier healthcare destination.

The centre will provide surgeons with best-in-class training in robotic-assisted surgery.

It is the first such centre at AIIMS utilising Medtronic’s Hugo robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system, which was first introduced in India in September 2021.

“Together, we will make training and education on the latest technology more accessible and enhance the skill sets of both current and the next generation of surgeons,” said Michael Blackwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Medtronic India.

Dr Minu Bajpai, HOD Paediatric Surgery and Dean Academics, AIIMS, said that surgical robotics and artificial intelligence are already changing the way surgical care is delivered.

“This initiative will pave the way for surgeons to progress from open and laparoscopic surgery to advanced RAS and will shorten their learning curve to master robotic techniques,” Bajpai added.

RAS is an emerging medical technology that can help standardise surgical procedures and enable surgeons in performing complex surgeries.

The training centre will offer a broad spectrum of training to enhance the knowledge and skill set in RAS, ranging from basic skills training to procedural training to more advanced and specialised areas in soft-tissue surgery.

According to Dr Mahendra Bhandari, Director, Robotic Research and Education, Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital in the US, the AIIMS New Delhi setting up a training facility for training surgeons to become adept at robotic surgery is indeed heart-warming because the arrival of surgical robots has advanced the practice of surgery significantly in this millennium.

“Shorter hospital stays for patients because of robotic surgery will make healthcare facilities accessible to more patients needing life-saving surgery and organ transplant,” added Dr Bhandari, also the CEO of Vattikuti Foundation.

The Vattikuti Foundation has trained over 500 super-specialist surgeons from all specialties to become accomplished robotic surgeons India in the last decade.

The Hugo RAS system is a modular, multi-quadrant platform designed for a broad range of soft-tissue procedures. It is designed to bring the benefits of minimally invasive surgery — fewer complications, smaller scars, shorter hospital stays, and a faster return to normal activities.