Rev­o­lu­tion­ary ro­botic surgery at state hos­pi­tal

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - Monique Johnstone

Del­i­cate Knee Surgery car­ried out with the help of ro­bot­ics at Mitchells Plain hos­pi­tal is the first of its kind in South Africa.

Sur­geons Dr Paul Rowe and Dr Yusuf Has­san re­cently per­formed the first ro­botic knee re­place­ment surgery of its kind in the coun­try at Vic­to­ria and Mitchells Plain District Hos­pi­tal.

This tech­nol­ogy al­lowed the doc­tors to demon­strate the fu­ture of or­thopaedic surgery in South Africa.

The ben­e­fit of the tech­nol­ogy is that it sim­pli­fied the op­er­a­tion for the sur­geons. It gave an ac­cu­rate map of the area of the knee where the im­plant would be made. It also made cut­ting the knee in the op­er­at­ing room very pre­cise.

Us­ing ro­bot­ics means far fewer er­rors dur­ing surgery, in com­par­i­son to surgery done by hand. The pa­tient loses less blood, and the ro­botic sys­tem gives im­me­di­ate elec­tronic feed­back on the suc­cess of the op­er­a­tion.

The pa­tient also re­cov­ers more quickly. Within one or two days af­ter surgery the pa­tient will start show­ing signs of heal­ing and move­ment.

How it works

The ro­botic ma­chine works to­gether with the sur­geon’s hand to give an ac­cu­rate as­sess­ment of the knee. A spe­cial op­ti­cal probe cre­ates a “vir­tual” com­puter model of the knee. This helps the doc­tor to choose the im­plant size that best fits the pa­tient’s knee. The ro­botic op­er­a­tion takes only an hour and half to in­sert the knee im­plant.

“This rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­nol­ogy al­lows you to tem­plate the pa­tient’s anatomy be­fore mak­ing the bone cuts, and it al­lows you to de­cide where to pre­cisely place the im­plants,” said Dr Has­san.

Ear­lier this year, Dr Hassen was given in­sight and train­ing on how to use the tech­nol­ogy by an ex­pert at Navio Ro­bot­ics in France. He then brought back his knowl­edge to per­form these ground-break­ing pro­ce­dures in our state hos­pi­tals.

“The ro­botic sys­tem is more ac­cu­rate than a man­ual sys­tem, where af­ter per­form­ing man­ual surgery one would have to wait and see the out­come of the surgery,” said his col­league, Dr Rowe.

“The hope in the de­vel­op­ment of ro­bot­ics is that it will be the next step for the fu­ture of or­thopaedics. We ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment be­cause re­search is show­ing that the more ac­cu­rately you place the im­plant, the longer the sur­vival of the im­plant.”

Western Cape Min­is­ter of Health, Dr No­mafrench Mbombo, said part­ner­ships were key to this kind of break­through. “The Western Cape Depart­ment of Health con­tin­u­ously strive to lead the way with in­no­va­tive sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures and it is through part­ner­ships with other health­care or­gan­i­sa­tions that we can pro­vide bet­ter and im­proved health­care for our pa­tients,” she said.

Or­thopaedic sur­geons Dr Paul Rowe and Dr Yusuf Has­san per­formed the first two ro­botic knee re­place­ment surg­eries of its kind in the coun­try re­cently at Vic­to­ria and Mitchells Plain District Hos­pi­tal.

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