Dr. Sudhir Srivastava man behind indian robotics surgeries. we feature Dr. Sudhir P Srivastava, a surgeon who is known not only for his robotics surgeries but also for building robotics surgery products with his Delhi-based company, SS Innovations.
One of nine siblings, Dr. Sudhir P Srivastava’s decision to get into medicine was a personal one. The son of an English literature professor, Sudhir would draw inspiration from biographies of the great leaders in the world.
“The hard work & sacrifices they made motivated me to do better,” Sudhir says. A desire to make a difference led him to look at medicine, and he graduated from JLN Medical College in Jaipur, Rajasthan, with an outstanding student award in 1970.
Sudhir went to the US in 1972 and while practicing as a surgeon there found that the popularity of minimally invasive surgery was growing at an unprecedented speed.
“I did some pioneering work between 1998 and 2000 and found that minimally invasive surgery had many remarkable features that conventional surgery lacked. This was when the Da Vinci system (robotics system) received FDA approval & hit the market successfully,” he recalls.
Starting with robotics surgeries
In July 2002, Sudhir founded Alliance Hospital with 10 other doctors in Texas. The facility was considered the center of excellence for treating cardiovascular disease in Texas.
Sudhir says he had an amazing stint as the chairman of Alliance Hospital for four years and would spend hours researching how to provide the best medical services to patients.
“My search took me to robotics cardiac surgery. I got involved with robotics cardiac surgeries and was also a part of the trials for FDA approval of the Da Vinci system for coronary bypass surgery. During this period, I performed the world’s first single vessel beating heart TECAB in the US, and proceeded to perform the world’s first double and triple vessel TECAB on a beating heart,” he says.
Sudhir is still actively associated with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, AATS, and the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) as a member and the founder of the Robotics Revascularization Society.
“My life and career were good and settled, but I wanted to come back to India. In 2011, when Fortis invited me to launch the robotics surgery program in India, I packed my bags and came back,” he says.
During his medical college days Rediscovering his love for robotics.
In 1996, he was introduced to minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Bypass (MIDCAB) Surgery in West Texas in 1996. Then in 1997, he became the first surgeon to perform Quintuple Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting using the Heart Port System.
“I was doing well as a surgeon, but learning the robot-assisted surgery technique proved to be a key turning point for me as a techie. I realized that robot-assisted surgery can transform the whole medical world and save millions of lives globally,” Sudhir says.
Recollecting his love for building and experimenting with spacecraft when he was in Classes 7 and 8, Sudhir in 2011 decided to start his company SS Innovations in Delhi, to build robotics surgical instruments.
“I started to seriously look at surgical robotics in 2009. At that time, I visited some universities where the early stages of surgical robotics development were on. I subsequently went to Germany to explore this further,” Sudhir says.
Building minimal invasive surgeries
The price of building robotics systems and arms, however, is high & time-consuming. Sudhir decided to bring his design, surgery, and tech experience to build prototypes & create products that are needed for surgery & make the whole process as less invasive as possible.
The core technology that he decided to build & work on included:
● Tele-surgery with 5G
● Different types of robotics systems with a single or regional anatomic focus
● Wireless controls & video streaming
● AI integration for automation & enhanced computer vision.
● Combining diagnostics & intervention
● Ablative therapies instead of excisional for many cancers.
● Endoluminal micro-bots
● Nano-bots for targeted therapies
“Lack of awareness & heavy costs were a great hindrance, and I am now working on both these aspects. SSI Mantra is an outcome of years of research and working in this direction, and I am happy that this advanced robot will be soon available to the world,” Sudhir says.
Building a robotic arm
Currently, Sudhir and a group of scientists & engineers are working on a multi-arm surgical robotics system called Mantra. They are also in the stages of the development of single-arm applications to include automated ultrasound as well as a camera pulling application.
“We will be involved in various diagnostic applications using a robotic arm and focused targeted therapies as well. In the future, the idea would be to remotely control a lot of these technologies to be able to bring it to areas normally deprived, in relation to access to high-level medical technologies,” Sudhir says.
The team has gathered data to design & develop some novel technologies to facilitate the future of Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery.
OMNI 3D HD™: Designed to provide a live 3D HD view of the surgical field to the entire surgical team in any robotics surgery operating room. A comprehensive high-definition 3D Video visualization system, it can be paired with the MANTRA™ Surgical Robotics System to aid the tableside surgeon and the surgical teams in assisting the most challenging robotics surgeries.
An identical 3D HD view through the Omni 3D HD™ enables the surgical team to be in better synchronization with the surgeon on the console. The surgical team is highly benefited by an improved depth perception, which helps in easier coordination and higher control to the tableside surgeon.
It also enables better teaching and training of trainees and has recording, playback, and live streaming capabilities. The OMNI 3D HD™ can be used for tele-training and telementoring.
NADI: The miniaturized vascular surgeon or tableside team-activated automated anastomotic connector facilitates coronary anastomosis in a very efficient and reproducible way.
Multi-Fire Clip Applier: A unique clip applier that eliminates the need for removal and reloads of the clip applier, this will make the surgical task more efficient.
AR Glasses: These aim to provide high-depth 3D visualization of the surgical site, giving surgeons extended visual acuity to diagnose better or perform successful surgical applications.
Sudhir believes his decades of experience in robotics surgery “helped me chose my team very carefully”.
“Proper training is the biggest challenge for robot-assisted surgeries. So, we ensured that all our team members know the nitty-gritty of this cutting-edge technology and created our in-house talent pool,” he says.
However, the pandemic was tough for Sudhir and SS Innovations as it became difficult to continue work at the same pace.
Raising funds and reaching out to doctors and other stakeholders were affected.
“We had placed orders for components and electronic parts essential for manufacturing surgical robotics systems, but they did not reach us as per schedule because of the pandemic. Despite these odds, we continued our trials and our commercial launch for SSI Mantra is scheduled later in the year,” Sudhir says.
Talent & hands-on experience
Sudhir says the company will continue working on numerous tech projects be aimed at decentralizing excellence. Telemedicine, telediagnosis, tele-treatment, and telesurgery will bring high-level care to various rural areas, small towns, and remote locations.
The 40-member SS Innovations team aims to miniaturize current surgical robotics systems, develop specialty-specific procedures and robots, and initiate simulation at every level so surgeons can practice without needing to practice on humans.
Sudhir believes India has tremendous talent and various engineering colleges, IITs, and different technical fields. However, limitation of resources means these students “do not get hands-on experiences on updated and most recent technologies that are available otherwise”.
“They have tremendous theoretical knowledge but practical applications are generally not taught in colleges. This creates a challenge in terms of hands-on experience to be able to implement things faster. Indians are present in all significant technology hubs in the world, leading to the mass-level brain drain from India, which is affecting the completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the Unhimity of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
About Dr. Sudhir Srivastava
He began his practice in San Antonio, Texas in 1981. In 1989, he was a visiting surgeon at the Tess Heart Institute in H, Texas working closely with the renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. Denton Cooley, and his associates. In 1990, he started can vascular and thoracic surgery practice in the Midland-Ode Dr. Srivastava is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He belongs to numerous medical professional societies and recipient of numerous awards.
Dr. Srivastava, along with ten additional physicians, founded Alliance Hospital LTD, a center of excellence in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, in Odessa, Texas in July 2008 and served as its chairman for four years While there, he performed the world’s first single vessel beating heart TECAB in the United States.
He also proceeded to perform two world’s first double and triple venel TECAB on a bearing heart and is the only person in the world to have performed a quadruple vessel beating heart TECAB – 2007, De Seivast was invited to serve as the Director of Robotics Cantiac Surgery and Assistant Professor at the intermed University of Chicago After successfully launching the program there be relocated to Athana te famcha robotics revascularisation programs and was the founding President of the International College of Robotics Surgery.
To date, he has performed over 1400 prophetic cardiothoracic surgeries adding 735 being heart TECAB cases that represent the largest experiment in the world. As one of the world’s leading experts in robotics surgery, he is frequently an invited speaker for various national. international scientific meetings Dr. Srivastava has traveled the world offering his services and guidance to surgeons and situations willing to engage in minimally invasive cardiac procedures and establishing works.
renowned robotics revascularization programs. Dr. Seivastava has been a presenter in ness National and International Scientific Meetings and an invited speaker around the world. Dr. Srivastava and his team genivided charity service to the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Medical Sciences from 1993-2000 teaching and training local teams in minimally invasive cardiac surgery. He has trained over 350 cardine surgical teams from around the world in robotics cardiac surgery.
The team consists of highly trained and proficient engineers from India, China, United States, and New Zealand. The majority 80% of the technical team is from India. He completed his residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
In 2003, As the founding chairman along with 10 other physicians founded Alliance Hospital, a center of excellence in Cardiovascular Disease in West Texas. While there, he performed the world’s first single vessel totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) on a beating heart.
Additionally, Dr. Srivastava is the only person in the world to perform a quadruple TECAB on a beating heart while at the University of Chicago. To date, he has performed over 1400 robotics cardiothoracic surgeries, including 750 beating heart TECAB cases that represent the largest experience in the world.
It was his passion to expand the minimally invasive surgical techniques that drove him to teach & train over 300 teams globally in robotics coronary bypass procedures and it is that same passion that helped him lead the development of the SS Innovations Mantra System, seeing the disparity in global access to robotics surgery.
Dr. Srivastava’s mission became to develop a cost-effective system that would allow many more patients to benefit from this medical technology.
This mission was the inspiration for Dr. Srivastava and his team that resulted in the development of Multi-Arm Novel Tele Robotics Assistance, “Mantra” Surgical Robotics System.
Introduction of Robosurg Med-Tech Pvt. Ltd., and its Founder, Chairman, and CEO: Robourg Med-Tech Pvt. Lut. Robourg, a group company of SS Innovations and functions as India Headmasters for Research and Development, and is involved in manufacturing and assembly of a new novel modular, intelligent, and cost-effective surgical robotics system.
The company’s vision is to create this advanced technology within India that will help not only our population but also countries around the world Surgical team will be able to offer minimally isusive surgical therapies so patients at a very affordable cost.
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