Ahmedabad surgeon uses robots in coronary surgery first time outside US

Ahmedabad, Jan 4 : Ahmedabad-based, internationally-reputed cardiologist Tejas Patel on Thursday said he has introduced here vascular robotic technology for the first time anywhere outside the US to perform coronary angioplasty and stenting.

Patel told reporters here that the new technology, which he had implemented on 57 patients in a month, would make India a frontrunner in the modern healthcare system with almost zero failure rate in angioplasty and stenting.

He introduced the technology at the Apex Heart Institute here, making the state of the art cardiology centre a “global centre of excellence” outside the US. Patel said the first robot was installed at the institute on December 7 and in less than a month he and his team had carried out 57 surgeries with the robotics technology.

“The Apex Heart Institute, Ahmedabad, is the first institute in the world outside the US to have the robotics technology for angioplasty and stenting,” he claimed.

In the USA too, the technology was available only at eight centres and was introduced just about a year ago. “India is much ahead of any other country, including the European countries to introduce this,” he said.

He said though robotics technology for other parts of the body arrived many years ago, it took longer for the scientists to perfect the technique for heart as it was the only “moving” part in the body.

According to Patel, the new technology could achieve “near cent per cent success rate and almost zero per cent failure rate” which was the ultimate objective of the healthcare system besides keeping both the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff outside the radiation impact.

He said the robotics system could secure nearly five to 10 times more accuracy than the manual system and would help the country achieve the ultimate goal of super speciality healthcare facilities to remote villages as robotics system would soon be able to perform such surgeries from distance.

Patel stated that cost-wise the new technology would be about Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh more expensive than the traditional manual system, but added that the higher expenses would be acceptable given its success rate.

He said his hospital would decide the additional charge under the new technology depending on the financial status of the patients. “Being new, the technology was yet to be approved by health insurance companies but over a period of time it would be approved since it had been accepted by the US companies,” the cardiologist said.

Patel, who was also the first cardiologist in the country to introduce the “Transradial Access Technique” (through the wrist artery) for angioplasty some 25 years ago and had so far trained over 5,000 cardiologists in the country, said he and his team would similarly provide training to young interventionl cardiologists from India and abroad in the Robotic-assisted technique.