Robotic assisted heart surgery in India ushering in new era in heart surgery

Robot-Assisted surgery is ushering in a new era in heart surgery by offering patients better outcome and a greater quality of life, a senior surgeon in the Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals today said.

Traditional open heart surgery involved making a big incision and resulted in prolonged pain and recovery over many months, whereas in robot-assisted surgery, instead of cutting the breast-bone (sternum), the surgeon makes a smaller incision between the rib-space and performs the surgery, Dr Ravi Kumar told reporters here today.

This translates to better patient experience involving less blood loss, less pain, less infection, less scarring, faster recovery and early return to normal activities (within four to five days, as against over 15 days in traditional one), he said.

On the cost-difference, Ravi Kumar, a pioneer in robot-assisted surgery, said it would be costlier by Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh, but emerged as a suitable and convenient option for common heart conditions.

Referring to the Indian scenario, he said heart disease was emerging as the number one killer among Indians and with a population of more than 1.2 billion, the country was estimated to account for 60 per cent of heart disease patients worldwide.

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