Indian inventor doctor’s breakthrough

After read­ing about doc­tors who become heroes for spend­ing some time in jail while being inno­cent, and doc­tors who inten­tion­al­ly fake crit­i­cal evi­dence in sci­en­tif­ic research, it is refresh­ing to read about an Indi­an doc­tor invent­ing a device that could help in endo­scop­ic surg­eries the world over:

Jaipur-based sur­geon Atul Kumar’s patent­ed invent­ed device could poten­tial­ly reduce the risk involved in endo­scop­ic surg­eries — a min­i­mal­ly inva­sive surgery employed to oper­ate such vital organs as the brain, spine and uterus. It also appears to have the poten­tial to help doc­tors decide whether to go in for a hys­terec­to­my, or uterus-removal surgery, which many gynae­col­o­gists say account for the bulk of oper­a­tions on women in India.

Dr Kumar says he has buy­ers inter­est­ed in pro­duc­ing the device. “All I can say now is, I have licensed the appa­ra­tus to med­ical com­pa­nies in the US, but con­tracts with the com­pa­ny pre­vent me from men­tion­ing their names,” he said.

The inven­tion is like­ly to reduce the num­ber of hys­terec­tomies on women in India. He has already got a patent in India, and has applied for patents in the US and UK. I’m not med­ical­ly knowl­edge­able enough to know if this will also help sur­geons like Ram­bodoc who oper­ate in chal­leng­ing cas­es like hunch­backs, but I sure do hope this will make life eas­i­er for both sur­geons and patients!

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  • Mahen­dra,
    The linked arti­cle is a typ­i­cal­ly poor­ly researched and fleshed out prod­uct of the media. It does not even say in what oper­a­tions the device is sup­posed to be used for and what flu­id is being mea­sured for pres­sures. After read­ing it a cou­ple of times, I think it is an irri­gat­ing device used for hys­tero­scop­ic pro­ce­dures that remove the lin­ing of the uterus (called TCRE). I don’t know from the arti­cle exact­ly in what way the device is a change from what is avail­able, so wouldn’t com­ment on that, but one thing to under­line is this:
    Indi­an sur­geons work under great stress and lim­i­ta­tions, and cost issues plague most of us. In order to pro­vide mod­ern surg­eries to poor­er patients, they have impro­vised all the time and cre­at­ed low-cost devices that cost next to noth­ing. Let me just give you one sim­ple exam­ple: in laparo­scop­ic (key-hole) surg­eries, organs are tak­en out of the key­holes using plas­tic bags (called endobags) that cost around $100–200 each. Indi­an sur­geons use sim­ple plas­tic bags or ziplocs and ster­ilise them, each cost­ing exact­ly noth­ing to the patient.
    Thanks for the arti­cle!

  • Oh, and by the way, hys­tero­scop­ic pro­ce­dures are a new class of endo­scop­ic oper­a­tions that use cam­eras and instru­ments placed inside the vagi­na and the uterus and not mak­ing any cuts on the bel­lies. Tumors, polyps and bleed­ing uter­ine lin­ing can be removed with­out any sig­nif­i­cant trau­ma to the body.

  • Ram­bodoc: thanks for the com­ments. I would think that the arti­cle appears poor­ly researched (or edit­ed) because it is in a webzine intend­ed for the gen­er­al pub­lic. As long as there’s no authen­tic­i­ty debate and giv­en the fact that the device is already licensed to US com­pa­nies for man­u­fac­tur­ing — I’m hap­py!

    Thanks for the exam­ple of how low-cost inno­v­a­tive tech­niques are being used by Indi­an doc­tors.