NDO – The Ho Chi Minh City-based Nhan Dan (People’s) 115 Hospital has created a hallmark in the medical field in becoming the first unit in Asia to deploy the Modus V Synaptive robot system in neurological and skull surgery.

The first robotically assisted brain surgery took place on February 15 and was carried out by Doctor Chu Tan Si, Head of the hospital’s Neurology Department, and his colleagues with the support of Prof. Amin Kassam – Vice President of Aurora Health Care (USA). He is an expert in neurosurgery and also the person who came up with the idea of the robot system.

The patient was a female Tay Ninh native born in 1952. She was hospitalised with a headache, difficulty speaking and weak right limbs. After clinical examination, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in the parietal bone area, measuring 2cm and about 1.5-2cm from the cortex, which controls the movement function.

Si said the patient’s tumour was a small, single-size tumour and it would be removed by normal surgery but would also leave neurological sequelae to patients. Therefore, after examining and evaluating the necessary functions, the doctors agreed that the patient is within the limits allowed to operate by robots to avoid damage to the brain.

The surgery started at 9 am on February 15 and ended at 10.30 am under the support of the Modus V Synaptive robot system, helping the surgical crew successfully remove the tumour.

As a participant in surgical support, Prof. Amin Kassam expressed his surprise and satisfaction as the surgery reached a record time, lasting only one hour and 30 minutes, earlier than the original expected two hours. Meanwhile, if carried out by classical surgery with microsurgery glasses without robots and positioning, it would last about four hours.

According to Amin Kassam, the system equipped in the surgery is the most advanced robotic system in neurosurgery. It was applied in the US in 2015 and only three years later was transferred to the People’s 115 Hospital in the second generation with more accurate operation, marking an unexpected step forward.

The Modus V Synaptive system offers a major difference, in that it directly captures part of the patient’s body by MRI scan, then instructs surgeons during the operation.

The robot surgery has very high accuracy, limiting surrounding software damage, with small incisions and suitable for cranial nerve interventions requiring precision to each millimetre.

In addition, the system can also navigate and automate robotic arms, providing surgeons with the latest technological advances to perform minimally invasive surgery, suitable to individual parametres of each patient, thereby helping doctors to choose the optimal approach, minimise complications and the risk of damaging important functional areas, such as language, vision and movement.

“With the nature of the first operation on brain tumours with the new robot system, the pressure was great, even though the team had prepared very carefully. The surgery was different from the previous cases I was responsible for. As in microsurgery, I had to look at the hand, but for the robotically assisted surgery, all the operations must be viewed on the screen. However, thanks to previous learning and exchange experiences in the US and Switzerland, we are more confident. When I entered the operating room, I forgot all about the surrounding issues, just focused only on helping the patient,” said Doctor Si.

The surgery almost does not damage the adjacent brain structure. After 1.5 hours of surgery, the patient recovered with stable health and was transferred to the Neurology Department for extensive care.

From the initial success, the hospital expects that the technique will soon be approved in the list of health insurance to improve the quality and effectiveness of treatment for patients.