Preethi Suryavansh, 14, of Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra was born with a lumbar spine defect; her upper torso was curved towards her right from when she could remember. Her dream came true on Saturday morning, when she stood up after an eight-hour surgery. “”I had always imagined how things would be if I could stand and see straight. For the first time I could look into my mother’s eyes, stand as tall as her,”” she said with an excited smile.

Preethi’s parents Mangesh and Saritha took her to almost every neurosurgeon in Maharshtra before one in Thane referred her to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. Doctors of Apollo Hospitals assured them they would use a newly-introduced robot that virtually ruled out any errors that could result in nerve or aortic damage.

The Renaissance Robot, manufactured by Mazor Robotics, tells surgeons where exactly screws have to be inserted and in what angle during a spinal surgery. “”The machine is fed with all the scans and images, along with the patients’ nerve composition. With its accuracy being close to 1 mm, it rules out damage to her nerves and organs,”” said neurosurgeon Dr Sajan K Hegde, who is trained to use the robot. The robot, the size of a 250ml soft drink can, moves like a capsule across the patient’s back, ensuring that screws and plates are inserted leaving no margin for error.


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