Feasibility of robotic surgery in a developing country, a public sector perspective

Document Type



Surgery; General Surgery


Objective: To assess the clinical feasibility of robotic platform and to calculate cost for sustaining it..
Methods: The study was conducted at Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and Civil Hospital Karachi from October 11, 2011, to August 30, 2017. Feasibility was assessed in terms of clinical outcome i.e. surgical complications, duration of stay and readmissions. The cost of doing an individual procedure was calculated along with the projected cost for 150, 200 and 250 cases per year. SPSS 23 was used for data analysis..
Results: Of the 119 patients, 45(37.8%) were males and 74(62.2%) were females. Overall mean age was 42.10 -13.40 years (range: 21-80 years. Mean hospital stay was 3.59-3 (range: 1-19 days). Complications occurred in 17(14.3%) patients ranging from wound infection 7(5.9%), bleeding 5(4.2%), intra-abdominal abscess 3(2.5%) and recurrence 2(1.7%). The total cost of robotic platform was Rs320 million with an annual maintenance contract of 10% of the total cost. The mean cost of performing a robotic procedure was Rs.389,263.05-39,249.63 (range: Rs252,823.09- Rs456,842.79)..
Conclusions: Robotic surgery was found to be a feasible and viable option. The major hindrance was the cost involved in setting up the system and recurring costs in terms of disposables.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association