Siriraj Hospital has successfully performed robotic surgery to replace the entire knee joint of an elderly patient, it said on Monday.
The director of Siriraj Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Excellence Centre, Keerati Charoencholvanich, said while the centre has been using robots to operate on knees since 2007, the case marked the first time an entire knee joint of a patient was replaced with the aid of telesurgery technology.
"Thanks to the development of modern surgical robots, we can operate on patients with greater precision," Dr Keerati said. "This method can really help reduce patients' recovery time and improve their quality of life after surgery."
The procedure was carried out by a surgical robot known as "Mako", which uses computer tomography (CT) scans to generate a three-dimensional map of the patient, which would then help the surgeons carry out the procedure more accurately.
The robot is equipped with haptic guidance technology, which helps surgeons avoid sensitive tissues which aren't meant to be incised, including blood vessels and nerve endings.
Mako is only available at Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, which is a part of the Siriraj Hospital network. However, following the success, Siriraj Hospital and the Golden Jubilee Medical Centre announced that it will start offering the procedure to their patients.
Patients who were admitted to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok or the Golden Jubilee Medical Centre in Nakhon Pathom's Salaya district will now be able to sign up for the procedure at Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital.
Once the surgery is done, they can return to the hospital where they were first admitted for rehabilitation, without any extra cost.
Prasit Watanapa, head of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, said hospitals under the the Siriraj Hospital network will gradually transform into smart hospitals, where advanced technology will be utilised to ensure the best medical treatment and service for patients.
"Our hospital is going to be the leader in telemedicine,'' he said.
Siriraj Hospital was the first hospital in the country to offer robotic surgery.