India’s first live robot-assisted weight loss surgery performed by Delhi doctors

New Delhi: Doctors at a private hospital here conducted a live surgery for weight loss, using a unique robot-assisted tool, on two extremely obese patients.

It was India’s first live robot-assisted bariatric surgery — for weight loss — using stapling technique, doctors at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said on Wednesday.

“We have demonstrated the usage of this technology during Robotic Bariatric Surgery of Sleeve Gastrectomy as a part of anti-obesity campaign,” they said in a statement.

The two patients — a 30-year old male weighing 224 kg and 37-year old female weighing 133.4 kg — were suffering from complexities like sleep apnoea, hypertension, diabetes and joint pain, due to extreme obesity.

They were operated through robot-assisted surgical stapler, called SureForm.

The robot-assisted tool optimised their surgical procedure and a consistent staple line was administered to prevent the tissue damage.

This is the first use ever of Artificial Intelligence in Robotic Surgery, said Dr Arun Prasad, Senior GI, Bariatric and Robotic Surgeon at the hospital, who conducted the live surgery.

Here the Stapler gives a feedback on the screen regarding the positioning, suitability, right thickness, right speed of stapling etc to the surgeon. Stapler will not fire unless predefined safety criteria are met fully thereby reducing further the chances of any human error, he said.

The live surgery was virtually joined by top surgeons from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the US, Mexico, Turkey and Russia.

“The robot-assisted Stapling is the new surgical technique in India. Our knowledge partner, Intuitive India has launched SureForm, a robot-assisted surgical stapler that comes well-equipped with the SmartFire Technology. This technology with 1,000+ measurements per second makes automatic adjustments to the firing process while the staplers are being formed, and the transection is being made,” Prasad said.

This technique can make complex bariatric surgical procedures minimally invasive and less painful.

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