Bengaluru: A first-of-its-kind, day-long workshop was conducted by HCG in the city to allow students and oncologists get a hands-on experience at the hospital's operation theatre.
The workshop saw over 100 registrations with 50 more logging in from across the world, who accessed the live demo and surgeries online. The workshop, 'Robotics Master Class', went live on the web, using a unique VILT (Visual Instructor Led Training) technology. “VILT is a technology which we are using currently to enhance our outreach to every corner of the world. The video platform has the capability to connect over 5,000 participants at a time," explained Dr Vishal Rao, Head and Neck Oncologist, HCG.
The visual class also used virtual reality and 360-degree video for remote participants. “The mix of all this technology is one of a kind in the country and also the world,” he said.
The workshop witnessed the launch of Indian retractors, ‘Ravi Retractors’, introduced by Dr Vishal Rao. This retractor has been innovated at HCG, particularly to perform neck dissections. Currently, there is only one retractor, Chung Retractor, available in the world and it costs around Rs 10 lakh. Ravi Retractor was conceptualised to help perform neck dissections and plastic surgery (free flaps) in patients with early oral cancers where neck nodes are cleared for safety as an oncology protocol.
Earlier, this procedure left an unwanted and unsightly scar in a majority of patients. To avoid the scar, Ravi Retractor was innovated as it makes the robotic surgery simpler with better visualisation.
The retractor has been designed by Dr Vishal Rao, with the help from Dr Rajesh at HCG. Ravi stands for light in Sanskrit, as this retractor helps robots
see better. Ravi Retractor will help many surgeons globally. “Students and oncologists could sit on the robot and experience its functioning. The idea was to give the people a glimpse into the future,” sums Dr Vishal.