AIIMS computer-aided surgery debut this month

New and advanced technology-based procedure to be the first among state-run and private hospitals

By Shuchismita Chakraborty
  • Published 9.07.15

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, will do its first computer-assisted surgery to replace a knee joint, on July 23.

Computer-assisted surgery is a type of advanced surgery, in which doctors use navigation cameras, wireless instruments and special softwares to visualise the patient's anatomy.

Sudeep Kumar, a doctor in the orthopaedics department of AIIMS-Patna, said: "In computer-assisted surgeries, doctors get a three-dimensional view of the surgical field, while in conventional replacement surgeries, doctors rely on their experience and knowledge of anatomy for generating an image of the surgical area in their mind. As a result, Suppose a screw is placed in wrong position. Then you won't get a second chance to correct a there is always a chance of error but in computer-assisted surgeries, the degree of error is low when compared to the conventional replacement surgeries. For instance, if a screw is placed in the wrong position, there would be no scope to correct the mistake later."

At AIIMS-Patna, the computer-assisted surgery would be used for the first time in a knee joint replacement surgery, to be performed by a team of doctors led by director G.K. Singh, Sudeep Kumar and Anup Kumar.

The doctors are planning to record the surgery so that they can showcase it in a workshop to be organised at the health hub, on July 26, in which doctors from other medical colleges and hospitals would also participate.

AIIMS-Patna director G.K. Singh said the start of computer-assisted surgery at AIIMS-Patna assumes significance because none of the state-run or private hospitals had this facility, at present.

One has to shell out about a crore to get this surgery done at private hospitals outside the state.

Singh said: "Computer-assisted surgeries are only required in cases, where there is problem in the medullary canal. When a patient shows a critical fracture, we require computer-assisted surgeries because there is a chance that the medullary canal is affected."

The director added that in the recent past, AIIMS had completed many operations in its orthopaedics department despite limited resources.

"We have done more than 50 knee joint replacement and over 30 hip replacement surgeries so far," said Singh, who has an experience of conducting around 50 computer-assisted surgeries during his stint at King George's Medical University, Lucknow.

Doctors from other medical colleges and hospitals also hailed AIIMS-Patna for their initiative.

Vimal Mukesh, a doctor in the surgery department of Patna Medical College and Hospital, said: "It is really good that AIIMS is going to start computer-assisted surgeries. It will be good if the technology could be introduced in state-run hospitals such as ours. The state government needs to look after the need."