International, News

First robotic heart surgery a success from 20 miles away

Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute at Ahmedabad has performed heart surgery from a distance of 20 miles away.

The procedure, which lasted just 15 minutes was to place a stent in the second artery that was clogged, using an internet-enabled robotic arm which Dr Patel guided to perform the surgery as a team of doctors and paramedics attended the patient to take care of any eventualities.

The heart surgery was undertaken in India by Dr Patel, a senior cardiologist who had already operated on the woman a few days previously to remove a blockage after she suffered from a heart attack. However, a few days later, another blockage was identified.

Dr Patel  said “This remote robotic PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) represents a landmark event for interventional medicine. Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are the number one cause of death worldwide resulting in nearly 18 million deaths per year.”

“The use of telerobotics has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by providing access to emergency care by the best surgeons in the world – that may not otherwise have been possible. This is particularly important when treating heart attacks and stroke, where treatment must be received in as little as 90 minutes or within 24 hours, respectively, to avoid death or permanent disability.”