Robotic surgery begins at JPMC

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KARACHI: In a first, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the largest medical facility in the metropolitan city, has successfully initiated robotic surgery. In a groundbreaking procedure, the gallbladder of a 34-year-old patient was removed in just 25 minutes with doctors reporting that the patient’s condition is steadily improving.

The team of surgeon, led by JPMC Executive Director Professor Shahid Rasool and comprising Dr Saddam and Dr Mansab, conducted this operation. Robotic surgery, designed to minimise complexity, pain, and blood loss during procedures, enables patients to recover quickly and resume their normal activities.

Dr Shahzad Ali, the Head of the Urology Department at JPMC, expressed his gratitude to Dr Shahid Rasool for his vision in introducing robotic surgery at the hospital. He acknowledged that robotic surgery comes with a high cost, attributed to expensive equipment and training. However, it provides an invaluable opportunity for doctors to become skilled robotic surgeons.

This milestone was made possible with support from the Sindh government, which allocated funds for robotics. Robotic surgery necessitates a skilled team, and the JPMC’s surgical units are now equipped to handle robotic procedures. Dr Ali explained the evolution of surgical techniques, from incisional surgery to laparoscopy, and now to robotic surgery, which allows precise access to different parts of the body with robotic assistance.

The JPMC aims to perform two robotic surgeries daily, initially focusing on gallbladder removal.

If the same procedure were conducted via laparoscopy, it would cost between Rs200,000 and 250,000. In private institutions, the cost for robotic surgery could reach up to Rs500,000, whereas the JPMC offers this service free of charge. To ensure a seamless operation, a contingency plan is in place, allowing a swift switch to laparoscopy in case of any issues with the robotic system.

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