Robotic Surgery Gave New Life to Little Ashura

The team of pediatric urologists in Apollo Children’s Hospital Chennai successfully accomplished a robotic surgery of a seven-year-old girl from Tanzania whose urethra was crushed after a severe road accident in her home town.

Online PR News – 07-July-2012 – New Delhi – The little girl from Tanzania got her new life because of a robotic surgery performed in the Apollo Children’s Hospital Chennai. Ashura Ibrahim from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, had witnessed a massive road accident in her home town which left her with a crushed urethra. In the Apollo Children’s Hospital Chennai, she went through a complex robotic surgery which turns out to be greatly successful in restoring the urethra to normal functioning.

After many unsuccessful attempts by the Tanzanian doctors to normalize the urinary bladder, Ashura’s parents brought her to Apollo hospital a year ago hoping to see their child enjoying a normal life again. The attempts by the Tanzanian doctors left her with a tube hanging from her bladder to pass urine causing mental and physical trauma.

Ashura had gone through a number of tests and finally the Apollo pediatric urologists found that the child’s bladder had shrunk and as a result it was constantly draining to the outside. In the open surgery, a flap of the bladder muscle was placed into the tube and to serve as the urethra, it was tunneled to a normal positioning. When she came back for a review, the doctors discovered that her left urethra had displaced towards the bladder neck causing urine flux to the kidney; this in turn resulted in frequent urinary infection and renal damage in her.

After having a proper evaluation, the team led by Dr. V. Sripathi, consultant pediatric urologist at Apollo, decided to do a robotic surgery of the patient to stop the urine influx. On June 25, the seven year old Ashura went through a robotic surgery. Dr. V. Sripathi said, “We ruled out open surgery to cease urine reflux, as it would leave the girl again with a tube to pass urine while a laparoscopy would have been unusually complicated because the urethral opening was very low”.

With the help of the Da Vinci Si robotic system with features such as 3-D field-view and “snake-wrist” arms that can be manoeuvred 360 degrees, this complex surgery was accomplished. The doctors said that it was perhaps the first robotic surgery of its kind and the first complex redo on the bladder base.