In, perhaps, a first for government hospitals in the country, the orthopaedics department of the Goa Medical College (GMC) and hospital, Bambolim, performed a computer-navigated knee replacement surgery. The live surgery on a 75-year-old female patient with severe arthritis was conducted at the GMC with the aid of an ultramodern technique of computerized total knee replacement in both the knees simultaneously.
While congratulating Dr Shivanand Bandekar, professor and head, department of orthopaedics, who led the team of doctors performing the surgery, GMC medical superintendent Dr Rajan Kunkolienkar said, “This surgery is another feather in our cap. It is a proud day for us.”
Kunkolienkar said GMC has been able to maintain efficiency in serving the state. Dr Bandekar said that this computerized total knee replacement is the first of its kind in Goa. The super computer used for the surgery is a demo unit given to the GMC and has been imported from the US. He said that the GMC will be buying the super computer soon. The high-end surgery will be free for the public, Dr Bandekar added.
Dr Bandekar said the computer guides (the surgery) to precision. “It enables perfect alignment and hence joints can last for many years,” he added. Listing out the benefits of the computer navigated surgery, Dr Bandekar said “There is no error due to human factor, it reduces size of incision and there is not much damage to tissue and no blood loss. The patient is mobile within 24 hours and mobility well maintained as if it is an original joint.” He said the surgery would have cost 4.5 lakh if done privately but done free for the 75-year old patient. She was operated for both the knees simultaneously and there was no need for any blood transfusion. The operation was completed in two hours, Dr Bandekar said.
The GMC started its joint replacement surgery unit in the year 2002 and the hospital has done more than a thousand total knee replacement and more than five hundred total hip replacement surgeries with the imported implants given by the Goa government. Dr Bandekar noted that in Goa, more women were affected by arthritis of the knees than men. He urged people to get any knee pain attended to early and not wait till they are elderly to undergo a replacement surgery as waiting only causes quality of life to suffer.