96-year-old becomes oldest person to get removed through robotic surgery

Robot surgery. Da Vinci the robot surgeon performs minimally invasive surgery (MIS) on a patient's heart. The surgical tools are on the ends of the robot arms. These are controlled remotely by a surgeon who views a live three-dimensional image of the operation site from an endoscope on one of the robot arms. MIS excludes the large open incisions associated with classical surgery, reducing pain, convalescence period and the risk of infection. The da Vinci system allows precise control of surgical tools through incisions just 1cm wide, with greater control than manual MIS procedures. Da Vinci was designed by Intuitive Surgical Incorporated, based in California, USA.

A 96-year-old man has become the oldest person to get a part of his stomach removed through robotic surgery in a procedure called robotic gastrectomy in a Bengaluru hospital. The man had a cancerous tumor which had caused a block in his stomach. Notably, the amount of tissue violated in robotic surgery is less when compared to an open surgery.

Mr Singh (name changed), a 96-year-old patient, underwent robotic gastrectomy (removal of stomach) at a private hospital in the city on September 6, making him the oldest person to do so. The senior citizen was able to start walking right after having a part of his stomach removed. He began eating food four days after the surgery.

Kumar had come to HCG hospital and complained about stomach pain. During the diagnosis, it was found that a cancerous tumour had caused a block in his stomach. This was causing him to vomit repeatedly and lose electrolytes. Despite his old age and weakness, all his vitals were stable, so the doctor suggested partial removal of his stomach.

Kumar’s family members were concerned about the pain he would experience during and after the surgery. Dispelling these fears, Dr Jagannath Dixit, consultant surgical oncologist, HCG, said: “Family members were concerned if the 96-year-old will be able to endure the pain caused by the surgical incision. But since the tumour was taken out from a small wound and the amount of normal tissue that is violated in robotic technology is very minimal, it is okay. As opposed to 15-20 cm in traditional surgery, the incision made in this patient was just 5 cm. This is a difference of 15 cm.”

Advantages of robotic surgery

In open surgery, issue is cut and anatomy is disturbed.  There is less mutilation of normal tissue in robotic surgery
Patients take fewer pain killers
Patients can breathe without an oxygen mask
Patients recover early and have to spend less time in the ICU

In robotic surgery, 3D vision gives the exact distance, depth and volume between various organs
In robotic surgery, there are seven different movements of the hand. At the wrist level, the hand can rotate in all directions


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