The COVID-19 pandemic has caused surgery waiting lists to grow even longer, but one specialist has been busier than ever despite the shutdowns.
Wollongong Private Hospital’s Dr Dharmesh Kothari has reached the milestone of 500 robotics cases, treating women suffering from gynaecological conditions – and 400 of those have come in the past two years.
“I can’t believe we reached 500 so quickly, especially with the various elective surgery shutdowns due to the pandemic,” said Dr Kothari, who performed his first such robotic procedure in September 2018.
“I didn’t actually realise I was about to reach case 500 until someone told me!”
Dr Kothari said he was delighted that advances in technology had helped him to improve so many lives, treating painful conditions such as endometriosis.
His surgeries have also included hysterectomies for prolapse, and myomectomies – the removal of fibroids from the uterus which gives women the option to have children in the future, unlike when the womb is taken out.
“I’m really excited that we now have robotics being used to tackle endometriosis. It’s been done in other countries including the United States for a long time, but it’s fairly new to Australia,” Dr Kothari said.
“For me, the biggest difference when using robotics is the 3D vision it gives me. Especially when you’re talking about endometriosis, this vision allows for much better identification of the lesions.
“If I can identify them better, it will help me to remove more.”
Dr Kothari also paid tribute to his team at Wollongong Private Hospital, which has invested in a range of robot technology including the da Vinci Xi, Mazor Renaissance and NAVIO Surgical systems.
“I couldn’t do it without the scrub nurses, operating theatre nurses, sterilising teams, anaesthetists and everyone involved who work very hard to make it possible for me to operate. This is a combined celebration,” he said.
Wollongong Private Hospital CEO Steven Rajcany congratulated Dr Kothari and the team for their hard work in serving the people of New South Wales’ Illawarra region.
“Wollongong Private Hospital is proud to invest in robotic technology as part of our commitment to offer our patients the best experiences and outcomes,” he added.