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HomeQatar TimesHMC conducts first of its kind robotic surgery in GCC and Middle...

HMC conducts first of its kind robotic surgery in GCC and Middle East


The medical sector in the Middle East are increasingly relying on robotic surgeries since their introduction in Saudi Arabia, in 2003.

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has conducted its first robotic procedure of removing a cyst from a patient’s liver, becoming the first to conduct such surgery in the GCC and Middle East.

On Saturday, the health entity said that the six-hour surgery was done in cooperation with HMC’s Robotic Surgery Department and Liver Surgery Department.

The patient was a middle-aged female in need of a choledochal cyst removal. The cyst is caused by a cognitive abnormality at the intersection between the bile duct and pancreatic duct.
The bile duct is in charge of transporting bile, which is a fluid made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

According to HMC, the patient’s symptoms included sharp abdominal pain and yellowing of the eyes and skin. Her blood tests showed that she suffered from a high rate of jaundice, which called for an abdominal ultrasound and MRI scans.

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“A multidisciplinary team of doctors, consultants, anesthesia and nursing specialists decided to conduct a prompt surgical intervention to remove the cyst and transform the track of the bile ducts to normal,” said Dr. Hany Atalah, Director of Robotic Surgeries at HMC.

Da Vinci robot was used on the patient, whose case has been described by Dr. Atalah as rare, to avoid complications that may otherwise occur in ordinary surgeries.

“[Traditional surgeries] would require a 17-20cm abdominal cut, while the robotic intervention required performing 6 small size incisions, which is one of robotic surgeries advantages in addition to the reduced surgery time to six hours,” explained Dr. Atalah.

The doctor said that the patient’s condition returned to normal within three days, whereas traditional surgeries would require a recovery period of no less than a week.

“Robotic surgeries also provide doctors with precise and easy access and enable the surgeon to control the robot through a screen. The robot performs the orders given by the surgeon through controllers,” said the HMC official.

What HMC described as a “surgical milestone” comes as the country enhances its medical sector by investing in its healthcare and utilising the latest technologies.

The Middle East has been witnessing a growth in robot-assisted surgeries as the global health sector advances its medical procedures.

Saudi Arabia was the first country to introduce robotic surgery to the region in 2003.

In 2010, Qatar established its Robotic Surgery Centre (QRSC), where doctors and nurses receive training on the new surgical approach.

Later, in 2018, Qatar’s Sidra Medicine launched its paediatric robotic surgery programme, to better assist child patients in the country and region at large. The programme is the first of its kind in the Middle East.


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