First stomach cancer surgery carried out with robot

Monday, 2017-03-20 10:28:33
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Binh Dan Hospital has carried out 60 operations with robot support since December last year. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO—Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Dan Hospital on March 20 conducted the first stomach cancer surgery with robot arms for a male patient, 54, from the Mekong Delta Dong Thap Province.

The patient had gone to the hospital with symptoms of indigestion. After performing diagnostic and laboratory tests, he was diagnosed with stage 3 antral gastric cancer.

The surgery was expected to cut 2/3 of the patient’s stomach and thoroughly remove cancer tumors by surgical robots with a surgery time of about four hours.

Robotic surgery will allow surgeons to thoroughly remove cancerous lymph nodes, while limiting blood loss and tissue damage and minimising the risk of cancer metastases and relapses.

Doctor Hoang Vinh Chuc, head of Binh Dan Hospital’s Gastrointestinal Department and chief of the surgery team said that after undergoing the operation, the patient will fast for 2-3 days to stabilise gastric mucosa and stomach stitching.

During that time, the patient will be fed through his veins and then will be given milk or soup for about five days. The patient was suggested to be active soon to facilitate intestine operation again, while avoiding fat food and to split daily meals into small pieces.

According to Doctor Chuc, stomach cancer is the most common type of digestive cancer. To prevent stomach cancer, he suggested limiting the intake of smoked and salted foods, while eating more vegetables and fruits and quitting smoking.

In gastric cancer, there are often excess multiple lymph nodes that should be removed thoroughly during surgical treatment to prevent cancer metastases and relapses.

The advantage of robotic surgery in gastric cancer treatment is that the robot system has a high resolution 3D display, enabling surgeons to clearly see the intra-abdominal structures, especially metastatic nodes, to remove them thoroughly.

Clear observation also helps minimise damage to neighbouring healthy tissues, reduce the risk of complications, and, in particular, decrease bleeding. Due to the minimal damage, the patients will recover faster after surgery and soon return to normal activities. The flexible robot arms can fold, stretch and rotate 540 degrees for easy operation in narrow operating conditions.

Robotic surgery has been carried out by Binh Dan Hospital since December 10, 2016. This is the first hospital in Vietnam licenced by the Ministry of Health to treat adult patients with robots. So far, more than 60 patients have undergone surgeries for major cancers such as colorectal and pancreatic cancer. After more than three months of implementation, the Dong Thap native was the first to treat stomach cancer with this technique.