Manipal Hospitals, Goa sets new milestone with successful Augmented Reality (AR) Total Knee Replacement Surgery

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Dr. Dessai is the First Joint Replacement Surgeon from Goa to perform Augmented Reality Total Knee Replacement and only one of the few in the Country so far to have successfully performed such a surgery.
Goa, June 12, 2023: A rare and complicated surgery was successfully performed on a patient suffering from a deformed femur, by Dr. Rohan Dessai, Consultant, Hip & Knee Replacement Surgeon, Manipal Hospitals, Goa. Dr. Dessai is the First Joint Replacement Surgeon from Goa to perform Augmented Reality Total Knee Replacement and only one of the few in the Country so far to have successfully performed such a surgery.

The procedure is called Augmented Reality (AR) Knee Replacement surgery. This AR-assisted total knee replacement was done for the first time in the world three years ago. And now, the same has been done by Dr. Rohan Dessai at Manipal Hospitals, Goa.

Speaking about the successful surgery, Dr. Rohan Dessai, Consultant, Hip & Knee Replacement Surgeon, Manipal Hospitals, Goa, said, “The patient had a deformed femur (thigh bone) and shin bone (tibia) on account of malunited fractures and surgeries over a period of 6-7 years. This led to post-traumatic arthritis of the knee which warranted a total knee replacement surgery. However, due to deformed bones, a standard or conventional total knee replacement surgery was impossible. The only options left were robotic knee replacement or Augmented Reality-assisted total knee replacement. In an AR-assisted total knee replacement, the surgeon wears a headband with AR glasses while conducting the surgery.”

There are many advantages of AR-based total knee replacement over computer navigation-assisted total knee replacement. In computer navigation, there is a screen which the surgeon has to keep looking at time and again. Hence, the surgeon has to take the eyes off the patient’s surgical site. In robotic knee replacement surgery, before the procedure, a CT scan (equivalent to 100 x-rays) is needed. In AR-based total knee replacement, there is no such need. Information is displayed in front of the surgeon’s eyes which helps in real-time navigation, is less time-consuming, and comes with a low learning curve for the surgeon. Unlike the robotic knee replacement, AR-based robotic knee replacement is a cost-effective treatment procedure, Dr. Dessai added.

So, joint replacement surgeons now have a new tool in the operating room: augmented reality. This technology enables surgeons to view important data through the use of special smart glasses or helmet-based visors while maintaining their view of the surgical site. In this way, AR differs from virtual reality (VR). AR superimposes digital content, including data and 3D images, onto the user’s view. Surgeons use this information to attain precision and receive real-time feedback when removing bone and cartilage, and placing a knee implant.

Commenting on the success of the surgery, Mr. Surendra Prasad, Hospital Director, Manipal Hospitals, Goa, said, “I congratulate Dr. Rohan Dessai, Consultant, Hip & Knee Replacement Surgeon Orthopaedics for the intricate diagnosis and treatment provided, thus giving a better quality of life to the patient. Manipal Hospitals, Goa, has an expert panel of highly-qualified full-time super-speciality consultants, who often work together on complex cases with a very scientific and disciplined approach. Dr. Rohan Dessai is trained to operate on such complex cases. Manipal Hospital, Goa is fully equipped to perform such complex and challenging cases.”

The patient benefited immensely from the well-coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, and the excellent support provided by our well-trained nursing staff and clinical assistants, Mr. Prasad added.

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