Dubai: Dr Mona Abdulaziz Kashwani, specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology at Al Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital, has made history as the first Emirati physician to perform robotic surgery in the UAE.
Dr Kashwani has been performing total hysterectomy, supra-cervical hysterectomy, removal of fibroid tumours, ovarian cysts removal and removal of adhesions to treat abdominal and pelvic pain, in addition to uterine prolapse and uterine retraction surgeries as a result of multiple child deliveries.
Dr Kashwani is one of the most experienced doctors in robotic surgery in the UAE, having graduated from Queen Mary University of London in 2005, before being nominated by the Director of the Laparoscopic Operations and Robotic Surgery Programme at Al Qasimi Hospital, Consultant Dr Zaki Al Mazki Al Shamsi, to join the women robotic surgeons programme.
She said: “I have spent countless hours after my shift using the surgical simulator for training and studying how the robotic system operates. This qualified me to receive a licence to perform gynaecologic robotic surgery using the advanced Da Vinci surgical robot from the IRCAD Training Centre in Strasbourg, France.”
Da Vinci surgery
Al Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital has seen more than 200 obstetric and gynaecological surgical procedures performed by advanced Da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic surgical system that uses a minimally invasive surgical approach.
Robots don’t perform surgery but the Da Vinci surgical system gives surgeons an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery by using instruments that he or she guides via a console. The instrument size makes it possible for surgeons to operate through one or a few small incisions.
Da Vinci is the first safe and effective surgical robot recognised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that performs complex, minimally invasive surgeries with great accuracy, through a series of small incisions, which shortens the patient’s stay in the hospital, ensures faster recovery and reduces the need for pain killers after the operation.
Dr Kashwani said she gained extensive experience with the programme since its launch in 2019, carefully studying the Da Vinci surgical system, learning how to safely operate it and working on all gynaecological robotic surgeries alongside visiting consultant Dr Labib Riachi, expert in advanced pelvic and laparoscopic surgery and urogynaecology, with support from Dr Safia Al Khaja, Director of Al Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital.
She noted: “I sincerely thank the wise leadership, who gave me the opportunity to be one of the few citizens to carry out this type of high-precision operations for patients using a robot. I am also grateful to Emirates Health Services (EHS) for their support and commitment to developing skills of medical practitioners across all of their health-care facilities, recruiting and training qualified professionals to use state-of-the-art equipment.”
Empowering medical staff
Meanwhile, Dr Essam Mohamed, executive director of Medical Services at EHS, applauded medical staff across various facilities affiliated with EHS for their efforts and dedication, reiterating EHS’ commitment to implementing its strategy and empowering medical and nursing staff across all of its facilities with training programmes designed to meet the developments the local and international healthcare sectors are witnessing.
Dr Mohamed underscored: “EHS has made significant efforts to enhance the skills and efficiency of its medical staff, allowing hospitals and health-care centres under its umbrella to be operated by highly qualified and experienced medical staff.”