August 30, 2017
Set your own benchmarks, strive for better patient outcomes
India is home to the largest number of doctors, engineers and software professionals in the world, it can easily reclaim its ancient position as the knowledge hub of the world. Eminent surgeons have urged India to improve its knowledge creation efforts especially in medicine relevant to its social, cultural and economic conditions.
New knowledge creation capabilities that take into account extremes of disease and economic disparities in India will significantly improve patient outcomes. And those creating the new knowledge will become role models for others, said Dr Mahendra Bhandari, Director of Robotic Surgery Research & Education, Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, while addressing surgeons at Mumbai.
“The differentiator between a good surgeon and others is the quality of outcomes,” said Bhandari, who has a distinguished career in surgery spanning over 50 years.
Surgeons achieve new breakthroughs in patient outcomes by creating their own benchmarks relevant to the community of patients they serve and not by simply adhering to the existing benchmark elsewhere. “When peers adopt technology created by you, it is an evidence of your knowledge as a professional,” he said.
Patients do not choose surgeons with 99 per cent success rate but those having zero tolerance for errors, Bhandari said, while providing tips for achieving excellence in the field of surgery.
The medical community in India has a bigger and more critical role in treating patients as patients coming from diverse literacy levels here place ‘blind faith’ in doctors despite following a ‘shared decision making’ process in deciding the line of treatment.
He cited examples of several committed Indian surgeons who worked towards extending the boundaries of robotic surgery to enhance the quality of outcomes. Due to their efforts a surgical robot created by US-based Intuitive Surgical Inc. in 2000 to augment human cognition to perform surgeries led to better outcomes and is today used for procedures in Urology, Gynaecology, Thoracic, Gastrointestinal, and Head & Neck area.
KDAH surgeon Dr TB Yuvaraja felicitated for 1001 robotic surgeries.
Speaking to surgeons at a Vattikuti Foundation event to felicitate Dr TB Yuvaraja, Uro-Oncologist and Head of Robotic Surgery at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Mumbai for doing 1001 robotic surgeries, Dr Bhandari said that what makes the medical community proud is the intelligent manner in which Dr Yuvaraja used his experience to deliver superior patient outcomes. He also lauded how Dr Yuvaraja mentored his team of surgeons to better themselves and wholeheartedly disseminated knowledge with the medical community.
Eminent surgeons Dr M Vijayakumar, Vice Chancellor, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru, Dr Percy Chibber, Senior Urologist, Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai and Dr Santosh Shetty, COO, KDAH joined in felicitating Dr Yuvaraja for achieving this landmark.
Dr TB Yuvaraja who specializes in Robotic Uro-Oncology Surgeries, treating Prostate, Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Testicular and Penile cancers is known for devising ‘suspension stitch’ to improve post prostatectomy incontinence and standardizing procedure for Inguinal lymph node dissection.
Dr Yuvaraja has won several fellowships including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC), New York, USA among others.
Many Indian surgeons like Dr Mani Menon, Dr Rajesh Ahlawat, and Dr Pranjal Modi have created new techniques in renal transplant procedures in complex surgeries using a da Vinci surgical robot even though the robot makers Intuitive Surgical Inc. originally thought a surgical robot would be used for cardiac surgeries.
Dr Bhandari who also serves as the CEO of Vattikuti Foundation, a US-based non-profit organisation that promotes robotic surgeries across the world, including India, said the Foundation is committed to training 500 robotic surgeons by 2020, in addition to offering 100 paid one-year fellowships.
A series of international fellowships, Webinars, and Vattikuti Student fellowship at the bi-annual Robotic Surgeons Conference hosted by the foundation have played a significant role in the spread of multi-disciplinary robotic surgery practice.
There are now 275 trained robotic surgeons in the country with access to 51 Surgical Robots across 47 hospitals in India.
About Vattikuti Foundation
Vattikuti Foundation, a US-based non-profit organisation, promotes robotic surgeries across the world, including India.
Vattikuti Foundation is working on a comprehensive strategy to grow the pool of trained Robotic Surgeons in India from the current 275 to 500 by 2020. This will be achieved through Vattikuti Scholar and Vattikuti Fellowship programs.
Vattikuti Foundation offered one-year Vattikuti Fellowships to 9 young surgeons in 2016. They embark on a journey of training as Robotic Surgeons, where they are awarded 1-year paid fellowships to work as an understudy to a Robotic Surgeon. After completing the fellowship, they are expected to become accomplished Robotic Surgeons capable of handling procedure independently.
Vattikuti Foundation also hosts a bi-annual Robotic Surgeons Council meet as part of its commitment to train highly competent surgeons and to motivate young surgeons.
The Foundation runs a medical student engagement program where identified Vattikuti Scholars (with a post graduate degree in surgery and a super specialization) are exposed to webinars and participation in Robotic Surgeons Council meets.