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Cancer Robotic Surgery - by Surgical Oncologist Dr. Somashekhar S.P., MBBS, MS, MCh, FRCS

Dr. Somashekhara S.P. is an award-winning surgical oncologist in Bangalore with over 11+ years of experience. Dr. Somashekhara S.P. is Head and Consultant, Oncology at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, and holds the record for performing the highest number of Complex Robotics Oncosurgeries in India. He pioneered the Robotic Scarless Thyroidectomy program & TORS in India and has vast experience in Surgical Oncology, Robotic Surgery, Gynaecological Oncology, HIPEC, Radio Guided Surgery, and Sentinel Node.

Dr. Somashekhara S.P. completed MBBS from Mysore University, MCh from GCRI, MS from NHL Medical College, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). A recipient of the prestigious Dr. D. D. Patel Gold Medal in Oncosurgery, he has contributed to several chapters in textbooks on Oncology.


Cancer Robotic Surgery

Cancer treatments may include a mix of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy depending on the kind of cancer and its stage. Surgery is the oldest treatment for cancers where the tumor and adjoining tissues are removed to increase the chances of survival. Cancer surgeries can be:

  • Open Surgery: Large incision in the body is made to open the area and perform surgery. A traditional approach to surgery, open surgery risks higher blood loss and longer recovery times and hospital stays for patients. 

  • Laparoscopic surgery: Minimally invasive technique which makes small incisions through which instruments and a camera are inserted. Instead of one large incision, four or five small incisions are made. The risk of blood loss is low, and recovery times are faster. 

  • Robotic surgery: Minimally invasive surgical technique that uses robotic equipment to perform the surgery.

  • Laser surgery: A high-intensity narrow beam of light or laser beam is used to destroy the cancer cells. Early-stage cancers including vaginal, vulvar, penile, non-small cell lung cancer, cervical and cancers of the lining of the internal organs can be treated with laser surgery.

  • Cryosurgery: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill cancer cells.

  • Microscopically controlled surgery: Used for shaving off cancers of the skin. 


Difference between Cancer Robotic Surgery and Laparoscopy?

Robotic Surgery and Laparoscopy are two different methods of minimally invasive surgery. While both require several small incisions are made and instruments and cameras inserted through them, the actual execution of the surgery differs. In laparoscopy, the surgeon is close to the patient and operates with the equipment inserted through the incisions. On the other hand, the surgeon is present at the console, away from the patient in the operating table during robotic surgery, guiding the robots inside the patient’s body for the surgery.   


Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery provides the following benefits over laparoscopy:

  • The camera outputs high-definition 3D images of the area to be operated

  • Robotic instruments can rotate 360 degrees, something a human wrist is not able to do, thus providing the option of greater dexterity to the surgeon.

  • Robotic instruments have greater reach than instruments guided by hand. 

  • Lower risk of blood loss, infections, less scarring, and faster recovery time.


Robotic Surgery for Cancers/Oncology

Robotic surgery in cancer treatments allows for more precision to help preserve nerves and other important tissues due to enhanced visualization and higher dexterity and reach of robotic instruments. Cancers in areas that may have once been deemed inaccessible by laparoscopy or traditional surgery can now be operated upon with robotic surgery.

Cancer robotic surgery is used for many cancers including gynecological, rectal, kidney, bladder, mediastinal tumor, lung cancers, esophagus, endometrium, pharyngeal, cancers of the base of the tongue, and prostate cancers.



The results of cancer robotic surgeries are promising. Not only has it been proven to be safe, but has increased the chances for patients suffering from cancers that were once deemed inoperable. 

Author Name
Neha Jaswal

Published Date
: 28-May-2021

Neha Jaswal is a researcher and writer at Vaidam Health. Being a fitness freak, she loves to pen down about health and fitness. 
A writer by day and a reader by night, she likes to expand her pensive thoughts health, travel strategies.

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