Apollo Proton Cancer Centre Successfully Conducts Rectal Cancer Surgery With Robotic Stapler

 - Sakshi Post

Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), the first Proton Therapy Centre in South Asia & the Middle East, conducted the first surgery using the ‘Robotic Stapler’ on a woman from Bangladesh for rectal cancer. The 55 year old woman Radhika (name changed) with low rectal cancer visited Apollo Proton Cancer Centre in March 2021. She was diagnosed with locally advanced rectal cancer and received chemotherapy with radiotherapy to shrink cancer.

The patient was re-evaluated in June 2021. Since the tumor had shrunk considerably with the previous treatment, the patient was counseled to undergo a robot-assisted surgical procedure, known as a low anterior resection. In this procedure, the rectum is divided below the tumor using a device called a stapler. This division is the critical part of the procedure, as the rectum has to be divided in a straight line and at an adequate distance from cancer.

Traditionally, laparoscopic staplers are used for the procedure. Usually, they are cumbersome for surgeons to use as they do not transect in a straight line. For the first time in India and at APCC the robotic stapler known as SureForm was used to seamlessly complete the procedure, with the secure division of the rectum.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Ajit Pai, Senior Consultant, Lead GI Surgical Oncology, and his team at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre on 3rd July 2021. The patient recovered well from the procedure and was discharged without any complications in 3 days.

Sharing his thoughts on performing the ground-breaking surgery, Dr. Ajit Pai, Senior Consultant & Lead GI Surgical Oncology, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre, said, “I have been performing surgery for rectal cancers for close to 20 years in all its iterations- open, laparoscopic and now robot-assisted. Division of the rectum low enough to remove cancer and high enough to preserve the sphincter function has always been a challenge. This stapler significantly added to the quality and ease of the operation in this patient from Bangladesh, apart from reducing the operative time.  I was very excited to be the first to use this technology, which is a game-changer. Our team at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is committed to providing patients with an exceptional experience using the best of technology.”

The stapler is part of the armamentarium provided with the da Vinci robotic platform. APCC has the latest 4th generation da Vinci Xi robotic system. This stapler has the ability to rotate in tight spaces such as the pelvis and has a range of movement of 120 degrees which is much more than the human hand or laparoscopic staplers. This leads to unparalleled freedom to manipulate the device and achieve an optimal outcome for patients with low rectal cancer, esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic cancer.

APCC offers specialized 360-degree care with the most advanced robotics system for complex surgeries. This center has the state of the art dedicated ‘Robot-Assisted Cancer Surgery Unit’ which offers patients with comprehensive cancer care under one roof. The unit is equipped with the advanced fourth-generation ‘da Vinci Surgical System’ and a dedicated team of Clinicians.

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