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Recurrent Ovarian Cancer treated Successfully with Robotic Surgery

Septuagenarians look forward to spending time with family and the fruits of retirement. However, it was not the case of a 74 year old. Being diagnosed with cancer at any age is worrisome and the memories of the treatment were not very pleasant one especially postoperatively along with chemotherapy in 2014. However, the fight was not over just yet for the patient as there was a recurrence of ovarian cancer that was detected during a follow up check up in 2017.

At age 77, chemotherapy was no longer an option and surgical removal of the tumor was the only option left. The patient was apprehensive and reluctant about the surgery given her previous experience, which was not a very encouraging. That’s when Dr Anupama R, Clinical Professor, Gynaecologic Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences suggested robotic surgery. This case was discussed in the multidisciplinary tumor board and all doctors agreed that robotic surgery would be the best option for the patient. The affected area was completely removed using robotic assisted surgery, da Vinci Surgical System. This time around, the patient was discharged on the next day as the procedure was completely and hence pain free.

This is one of the many cases where Amrita Hospital has embraced modern technology, particularly the use of robot assisted surgery. Contrary to popular belief, the surgeon uses the robot as a tool to perform the surgery and it is not an automated process. The advantage of using robotic surgery is the short, sometimes unimaginable, recovery period is shorter than routine laparoscopic procedure. However, robotic technology with its better vision and small and precise instruments helps the surgeon perform complicated surgeries with minimum tissue damage since oncologic surgeries are more complex than routine gynaecologic surgeries. The use of robotic surgery translates into shorter hospital stay, lesser fatigue and faster recovery for the patient. Additionally, the duration of the surgery on an average is 1 to 2 hours.

In countries like the United States and UK, robotic surgery is being offered even for routine procedures and slowly even India is catching up. Robotic surgery was introduced at Amrita Hospital in January 2015. In the short span of two and a half years, Dr Anupama R has treated over 260 patients with gynaecological cancer and other gynaecological problems with the help of robotic surgery.