Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta Road has successfully treated India's first reported case of a 7-year-old Thyroid Cancer patient using the innovative (RABIT) Robotic-assisted Breast-axillo Insufflation Thyroidectomy. This approach, which has crossed 100 successful surgeries at the hospital, uses robotic technology for thyroid removal through minor incisions.
Invented by Dr Sandeep Nayak, Senior Director of Surgical Oncology, Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru, in the year 2018, RABIT is a highly advanced technique for removing the thyroid.
The patient, a 7-year-old girl was admitted to Fortis Hospital- Bannerghatta Road after experiencing a year-long thyroid swelling. Following a thorough examination, she was diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma, a form of Thyroid Cancer. Subsequently, she underwent a Total Thyroidectomy and Neck Lymph Node Removal after consultation with a paediatrician to ensure her fitness for surgery.
Elaborating on the procedure, Dr Sandeep Nayak, Senior Director of Surgical Oncology, Robotic & Laparoscopic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru, said, “This case is truly exceptional, as it involves the youngest girl to undergo a Robot-Assisted Total Thyroidectomy (RABIT) and Bilateral Neck Dissection. The patient had a significantly enlarged thyroid gland and neck dissection (removal of lymph nodes which play a crucial role in filtering cancer cells).
Elaborating further Dr Nayak stated, "While performing the surgery through RABIT, a special single docking technique is used that enables us the dissect both lymph nodes and lobes as and when necessary. In addition, in RABIT, the scar is only marginally noticeable measuring between 0.8 – 2 centimetres long. Whereas, the conventional open thyroidectomy with neck dissection procedure leaves behind an unsightly U-shaped 15-centimetre-long scar in the neck region, which usually affects the patient’s confidence and causes a lot of distress."
This intricate surgery was carried out by a skilled surgical oncology team using cutting-edge medical technology. Post-surgery, the patient was closely monitored in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where she received mechanical ventilation for a day. Her recovery was steady, and she was discharged in stable condition after 10 days.
Akshay Oleti, Business Head, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru expressed his excitement and pride in the team's accomplishment, “We are proud to be at the forefront of medical innovation and strive to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This ground-breaking achievement by our Surgical Oncology team at Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta Road demonstrates their exceptional skills and dedication in advancing thyroid cancer treatment techniques. RABIT offers hope to patients seeking scarless thyroidectomy, setting a new standard for innovation in healthcare.”