At SSMC, robotic surgeries have been performed across different specialties, with gynaecology being the latest addition Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) has performed its first robot-assisted gynaecological surgery.

This key milestone follows the expansion of the hospital’s robotic surgery services capabilities, said the hospital, a joint-venture partnership between public health provider Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) and US-based research health pioneer, the Mayo Clinic.

The first patient, a 48-year-old from Sharjah, was referred to SSMC after initially suffering from abdominal pain due to a large pelvic mass on the left ovary. She was assessed by Dr Salem Al Harthi, consultant general surgeon at SSMC. Dr Al Harthi later consulted with Dr Saladin Sawan, consultant surgeon in gynaecology, oncology and robotics at SSMC, concluding that a minimally invasive approach would serve best to improve outcomes.

“Given that the patient previously had multiple surgeries, we decided to utilise the robotic surgical procedure to remove the adhesions and regain organ functionality, as well as help minimise the side effects and recovery time. Robotic surgeries are very beneficial for us surgeons as they provide magnified, 3D high-definition vision, a higher degree of comfort when using medical instruments, and offer easier access to areas that would have been difficult to reach using conventional methods,” Dr Al Harthi said.

“At SSMC, robotic surgeries have been performed across different specialties, with gynaecology being the latest addition. In my experience as a surgeon in Gynaecologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery, I have always aimed to offer comprehensive surgical treatments for women with gynaecological cancers, and in that regard, the robot-assisted surgery procedure provides a number of benefits such as minimal scarring, reduced risk of infection, heightened surgical precision, as well as reduced pain and discomfort for the patient. It is an honor and a privilege to offer my medical services at SSMC as one of the few doctors licensed by the Department of Health (DoH) to offer competent surgical treatment for women with gynaecological cancers,” Dr Sawan added.

The first robotic surgery at SSMC took place in September 2020, marking the launch of the hospital’s comprehensive robotic surgery program to help enable and enhance minimally invasive operations and improve clinical outcomes. As a destination medical center specialising in complex and serious care, SSMC’s partnership with Mayo Clinic provides easy access to cutting-edge technologies and the latest research findings.

Dr. Matthew Gettman, who initiated the SSMC robotics programme in urology and is also the chief medical officer at the hospital, said he is delighted at the expansion.

“We are thrilled to see the ongoing expansion of robotic surgery at SSMC. This case exemplifies our integrated, multidisciplinary, team-based and patient-centred model of care in action that provides excellent technical results with a faster recovery,” he said.