Hyderabad, August 13th, 2022: The first exclusive Conference on Gynaecological Robotic Surgeries being organised in India, RoboGynIndia 2022 and the Association of Gynaecological Robotic Surgeons (AGRS), which is hosting the Conference; were formally inaugurated by the Chief Guest Her Excellency Hon’ble Dr (Smt.) Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana; today at Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel. Guest of Honour Dr K. Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Group – Hospitals; Special Invitee Prof. Mahendra Bhandari, Padma Shri Awardee & CEO, Vattikuti Foundation; Dr Rooma Sinha, Organizing Chairperson, Founder President, AGRS & Chief Gynecologist & Minimal Access Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad and Dr Anshumala Shukla Kulkarni, Organizing Secretary, Founder Secretary, AGRS; graced the occasion. Over 150 delegates from all over India, South Asia and abroad are attending the Conference. Apollo Hospitals and Vattikuti Foundation are the academic partners for this prestigious Conference.
The two-day Conference with the theme “Gynaecological Robotic Surgery – Innovations & Surgical Revolution” is being held on August 13th & 14th, 2022. It’s a unique opportunity for endoscopic surgeons to interact with eminent International and Indian faculty to gain insights into use of clinically relevant robotic technology for gynaecology related surgeries.
Speaking on the occasion Dr (Smt.) Tamilisai Soundararajan said, my being here and inaugurating this Conference is to compliment Dr Rooma Sinha for her exemplary services. It’s not easy to initiate new technology, my thoughts go back to 40 years ago when we were practicing ultrasound and foetal therapy, at that time interventional ultrasound was not thought of, so when we came forward to perform some of the procedure through ultrasound, there was resistance, we used to go around and try to convince people. That way I can guess the resistance Dr Rooma would have experienced while introducing this new technology. In our country it is expected that whatever latest and highest technology is introduced it has to be patient oriented and even if there is a small complication, it would be difficult to use it for the next patient because of the bad word it earned. Especially today with the access to information patients have, it becomes even more difficult to convince the patient. Under such difficult circumstances what Dr Rooma achieved is commendable and I realise the importance of it, all the more as a gynaecologist. Off late technology plays an important role, be it AI, AR or VR, 3D printing, robotics, all these have changed the face of treatment. The goal of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital Health Mission is to make healthcare delivery available, inexpensively and accessible for everyone, especially the poor who reside in remote and difficult to reach areas. Technology helps to preserve the cosmetic aspects, has minimal complications and enables to innovatively deal with problems. Conferences like this enable us to interact with each other so that the experiences shared here will make us to take on challenges we face. My appeal is to encourage more research activities and ensure they are published, for others to benefit. The robotic surgery will soon be very popular due to the rapid growth of technology and the aspiring medical professionals have to develop their skills in this area. Technology should also make the services economically feasible for all sections of society. Medical services have improved manyfold, my appeal to insurance companies is to include the evolving medical procedures in their list of approved procedures, as they were found to be wanting in approving such latest procedures, which is very disheartening. I request insurance companies to come forward and include all the robotic surgeries and approve them. Even the government insurance schemes should include such latest procedures in the approval list.
Dr Hari Prasad said, we have come across many individuals with multiple facets but very few have excelled in all the facets they possess and Dr (Smt.) Tamilisai Soundararajan, is one of them. Our Chairman Dr Prathap C. Reddy takes decisions in matter of minutes and when its new technology he doesn’t event think about it. When robotic surgery was introduced we thought it could only benefit urology and gastroenterology patients. But success often comes from unexpected quarters and it did come that way when a tiny little young lady who took the lead and made a huge difference to the robotic surgery and that is Dr Rooma Sinha, the whole country is proud of your accomplishment and we are extremely proud of just not what you achieved, but also of what you are going to achieve in the future. History is being created by the launch of Association of Gynaecological Robotic Surgeons.
A typical Indian woman endures painful periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis and more for years, not wanting to inconvenience the family. Robotic surgery can empower these women by facilitating minimal trauma, hospitalization, blood loss with better aesthetics, says Dr Rooma Sinha. Association of Gynaecological Robotic Surgeons and RoboGynIndia-2022, the first exclusive Conference on Gynaecological Robotic Surgeries in India, has been conceived purely to liberate women from conventional painful open surgeries and post-surgery trauma. Today no woman should be subjected to an open surgery and minimal access surgery should be available to all. But we are not able to provide that to the women of this country, the reason being, in spite of minimal access surgery now being available in every hospital including in small towns, but still the skill and infrastructure required for performing complex gynaecology surgeries becomes difficult. The role of robotics here helps general surgeons to develop these skills fast and translate the benefit of minimal access surgeries to the women in our country. This Association was conceived by seven of us and took seven years to form. The Association will proactively train gynaecologists pan India in Robotic surgeries to facilitate this noble objective. Our very own made in India “Mantra” robot will enable greater penetration of robotic surgeries and reach the services to the remotest part of India, says Dr Rooma Sinha. We have very good response to this inaugural meeting.
Prof. Mahendra Bhandari said, today the robotic gynaecology surgery in India is on an auto mode. When Vattikuti Foundation wanted to bring robotic surgery to India in 2009, there were no takers, DaVinci was untouchable, they didn’t find it worthwhile because of the capital involved and the recurring cost. Three months I went to every sector and addressed them, because the Indian model was not workable only on urology alone and I was looking for some other high volume area and then I decided it wouldn’t be working. But it was the Apollo Hospital which embraced it, when we met the Chairman Dr Prathap C. Reddy, within 15 minutes he took the decision to have six robots and that paved the way for robotic surgery gaining popularity in India.
The faculty for the RoboGynIndia comprises of four internationally renowned robotic surgeons, like Prof Walter H Gotlieb, Professor of Ob-Gyn & Oncology, McGill University – Montreal, Canada; Dr Krishnanshu S Tewari, Associate Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology at University of California, Irvine, USA; Dr Gabi Moawad, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, USA and Prof Arnold Advincula, Medical Director, Columbia University, New York. The experienced robotic surgeons from India forming the faculty are Dr Rooma Sinha, Dr Anshumala Shukla Kulkarni, Dr Rama Joshi, Dr Anupama Bahadur, Dr Yogesh Kulkarni, Dr S. Chinnababu and Dr Mala Srivastava among others.
A wide spectrum of topics related to Gynaecological Robotic Surgeries are being deliberated at the Conference. Some of the thought provoking topics include the future of robotics in gynaecological surgeries; Artificial Intelligence and its application in gynaecological surgeries; starting a successful gynaecological robotic surgery program; strategies to overcome barriers and how to make robotic surgeries economically feasible; advantage of robotics in treating obese patients; ‘MANTRA’ the India robot; robotic assisted surgeries of complex Hysterectomies, myomectomies, endometriosis, malignant robotic hysterectomy and other complex surgeries.
In India four robotic platforms “DaVinci”, “Hugo RAS”, “Versius” and “Mantra” are available currently for clinical use and these will help to expedite the penetration of robotic surgeries.
Apollo Hospitals pioneered robotic surgeries in India by introducing DaVinci Robotic surgery system across 4 hospitals, way back in 2012, today the Group is offering Robotic Surgeries across 8 Apollo Hospitals. Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad is acknowledged for pioneering Robotic Gynaecological surgeries in the Country. The Centre has done stupendous work for over a decade under the stewardship of Chief Gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad; Dr Rooma Sinha. She deservingly holds the distinction of performing the maximum number of robotic surgeries for Gynecological problems in India.