Gamma rays and robots: How high-tech has changed surgery in Moscow

Gamma rays and robots: How high-tech has changed surgery in Moscow
A wide range of innovation surgery technologies allows Moscow surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures more often.

Seventy percent of all surgeries in Moscow are now performed with laparoscopy – without an incision, said a Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Healthcare Alexei Khripun at the XVII Moscow Health assembly.

“In 2018, Moscow specialists performed a total of 100,000 minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries and over 1,000 robotically-assisted surgeries, which allowed patients to recover faster,” Khripun noted.

Moscow hospitals are increasingly converting from open surgery to innovative intraluminal endoscopic and X-ray endovascular technology. This has allowed surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery on over 15,000 patients with gastrointestinal tumors.

In the course of the past three years, Moscow neurosurgeons have performed a total of 1,900 high-tech surgeries with the Gamma-Knife radiotherapeutic device, said Moscow’s Department of Healthcare’s chief neurosurgeon, Andrei Grin.

This is a technique to remove brain tumours with radioactive gamma rays rather than scalpels. Fine tuning allows directing the rays at the tumour and destroying the affected cells’ DNA without damaging healthy tissues.

“In brain surgery, the most important thing is to not cause any damage to healthy tissue,” Grin said. “To do this, we use high precision technology, such as microsurgery, neuronavigation, stereotaxy, the Gamma Knife tool, and robotic assistance.”

He also said that this year, the city purchased its first robotic system for brain surgery, thus allowing Moscow doctors to perform Russia’s first robotically-assisted neurosurgical procedure at Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine.

Moscow is not only introducing state-of-the-art medical technology, but also providing its surgeons and endoscopists with additional training. A total of 900 doctors have already undergone training at the Botkin Hospital’s Medical Simulation Centre as well as at the world’s leading hospitals.

The 17th Health of Moscow assembly currently being held at Expocentre is being attended by over 3,000 medical specialists in various healthcare fields.

High-tech medical assistance: What is a gamma knife and how does it help in surgery

First in Russia: Moscow surgeons perform Beger procedure with the help of Da Vinci robotic system