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Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

India Channel
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Medical News : Healthcare : India

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Non-invasive procedures to revolutionise abdominal surgery in India
Feb 26, 2006, 17:07, Reviewed by: Dr. Priya Saxena

"The government's policies on paper are nice but they need to be executed properly,"

Surgeries for abdominal problems like appendicitis and gall bladder diseases may soon be done in India minus any incision.

New methods of natural hole surgery and surgery using nano robots will soon replace the in-use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, says Doctor N.K. Pandey of the Escorts Hospital and Research Centre in Faridabad near New Delhi.

According to Pandey, who has won the prestigious B.C. Roy National Award for 2005 and is a Fellow of American College of Surgeons, the new surgery methods are under experimentation in some medical laboratories in Hyderabad.

"Technologies like laparoscopic surgery and keyhole surgery will soon be things of the past and surgeons would not need to puncture the human body," Pandey, executive director and head of the surgery department at Escorts, told IANS.

"Instead, the anus and the genitals may be used in the natural hole surgery process," said Pandey, 55, known for his pioneering work in minimal access surgery.

Doctors in the Hyderabad laboratories are working on animal modules before they begin experimenting on human anatomy, said Pandey.

Elaborating on the use of nano robot technology, Pandey said: "Under this, a small robot made of dissolvable material would be injected into the human body. The robot will destroy the infected cells without harming adjoining cells and after a few days it will get automatically dissolved into the body and come out through the excreta."

The new procedures would help deal with surgeries of appendicitis and gall bladder and other internal organs, said Pandey, refusing to divulge further details.

"Since the technology is in the early stages, it would not be wise to give certain names of the surgeries that can be performed. Once successful, it would be a huge achievement for the medical fraternity.

"It will create the demand for sensitive medical equipment that can pass through natural human body apertures without any pain. Education on the subject will also be imparted to students."

"Surgery is not a closed book and new technologies are going to peak up in India," said Pandey, who has 25 years of experience as a surgeon and who has contributed to research in Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

VATS is performed using a small video camera that is introduced into the patient's chest via a scope. With the video camera, surgeons are able to view the patient's chest cavity and perform the surgery with other surgical instruments that are introduced into the chest through incisions or 'ports'.

Dismissing the outcry by rights activists over experiments done on animals, Pandey said he wanted an animal laboratory for research.

"We would like to have an animal laboratory, but if I start something like this, it would be mired in controversies."

Pandey said medical education in India needed to be overhauled. While some students should be prepared for research, which is of immense importance to the medical fraternity, some should be oriented towards working in rural areas.

"To bring about a change we need to have a fresh mindset. A decade back when I went to Seoul, I found some places there that were no different from Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi). But today they have turned as swanky as any American city. Everything is possible through a change in mindset.

"On the one hand we feel proud about the evolving medical tourism in the country and on the other hand thousands are succumbing to diseases like malaria and hepatitis.

"The government's policies on paper are nice but they need to be executed properly," said the surgeon who has also received honours from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Scotland.

The B.C. Roy National Award, instituted in 1976 by the Medical Council of India, carries a silver plate, a citation and cash reward of Rs.100,000.

- Indo-Asian News Service

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By Prashant K. Nanda, Indo-Asian News Service

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