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Dr. Sudhir Rawal

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute Achieves Milestone with India’s First Cancer Telesurgery

The Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCIRC) has set a new benchmark in medical technology by performing India's first-ever telesurgery in cancer care. This groundbreaking procedure, led by Dr. Sudhir Rawal, Medical Director of RGCIRC and Chief of Genital Urinary Oncology, marks a monumental leap in ensuring precision and safety while overcoming geographical barriers in medical treatment.

The expert team, including Dr. Amitabh Singh and Dr. Ashish, successfully carried out a Radical Cysto-Prostatectomy with Bilateral Lymph Nodes Removal. This complex surgery, traditionally lasting up to three hours when performed openly, was completed in just one hour and forty-five minutes using telesurgery. The procedure was conducted from the SSI Office in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram, utilizing the Indian-made SSI Mantra Robot. The patient, a 54-year-old suffering from cancer of the urinary bladder, was located at RGCIRC's Rohini Centre in Delhi.

"Performing this surgery remotely demonstrated the immense potential of telesurgery," stated Dr. Rawal. "We achieved flawless results, underscoring the safety and precision of this advanced technology. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to innovative cancer care."

Telesurgery enhances complex surgical procedures, particularly in cancer treatment, leading to better outcomes and quicker patient recovery. It also makes high-quality surgical care accessible to patients in remote areas, reducing the need for extensive travel and associated costs. The patient's condition is currently stable, and they are expected to be discharged within the week.

"RGCIRC has always been at the forefront of utilizing advanced technology to enhance cancer care," said Mr. D.S. Negi, CEO of RGCIRC. "Our adoption of many firsts in the country, including this historic telesurgery, exemplifies our unwavering commitment to providing the best possible outcomes for our patients. We are proud of Dr. Rawal and his exceptional team for their dedication and expertise. With this advancement, we are confident that we will advance our efforts further to fight against cancer."

Dr. Rawal, who has performed over 5,000 robotic surgeries, the highest by any cancer surgeon in India, added, "With telesurgery capabilities, geographical barriers are no longer obstacles to accessing specialized surgical interventions. Patients in remote locations can now benefit from high-quality care without the need for extensive travel, enhancing healthcare delivery nationwide."

Since 2018, RGCIRC has been pioneering the development of an Indian Robot with Dr. Srivastava and his team (SSI), continuously innovating and improving surgical outcomes. The success of this telesurgery not only marks a historic moment for RGCIRC but also signifies a significant advancement in the field of robotic-assisted surgery. It paves the way for future developments in smaller, more agile robotic systems equipped with advanced functionalities such as laser technology and integrated energy devices. These innovations promise to further enhance surgical precision and expand the scope of minimally invasive procedures.

Telesurgery will also facilitate teleproctoring, where experienced surgeons can train their counterparts in smaller cities, thanks to the affordability and capabilities of the Indian Robot.

"Looking ahead, we envision even more advanced versions of our robotic systems," expressed Dr. Rawal. "These systems will be more compact, versatile, and equipped with cutting-edge technologies, setting new benchmarks in surgical excellence."

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