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The Hindu
The Hindu
Special Correspondent

‘New robotic surgery system gives better outcomes for cancer patients’

It was social media that encouraged Sakthi Kumar to approach Venkatesh Munikrishnan, consultant colorectal and robotic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, for treatment.

Mr. Kumar said he had no symptoms of cancer except that he remembered that his father had suffered from the same problem. “I came to know about him (Dr. Venkatesh) from Facebook. He had given a lot of information on his page. In December 2018, I found that I had a tumour. I was operated on in April 2021 and underwent another surgery in December 2021. I am coping with a little incontinence now. I am a marathon runner and plan to run again,” he said at a press interaction here on Tuesday. Mr. Kumar was among the three patients who shared their experience of being treated by Dr. Venkatesh.

The specialist, who heads the Institute of Colorectal Surgery at the hospital, said his team had done over 500 robotic colorectal surgeries since the institute was formed in 2016 and is the first to use a new robotic system for rectal cancer surgery. Robotics helps to do complex procedures and in greater volume besides reducing trauma to and ensuring faster recovery for patients, he said.

According to him, since 2018, as many as 27,605 new cases had been registered across the country and currently an estimated 53,700 persons are living with the disease. Dr. Venkatesh said in the early stages cancer could be cured completely. Better awareness would help patients reach out for treatment early. Those with family history should get their children screened. Surgical procedures had advanced so much that surgeons could offer reconstructive procedures as well, he said.

Preetha Reddy, Vice-Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals said the hospital as a team was consistently raising the bar to improve outcomes for patients. “The doctor’s team is the busiest doing path-breaking surgeries. The institute offers cutting edge treatment in proctology and pelvic floor diseases,” she said.

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