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Indian docs invent low-cost precision surgery tools

New Delhi | May 15, 2006 11:45:30 AM IST
New Delhi, May 14 :

There is a saying that necessity is the mother of invention, and in that case man can as well be said to be the father of invention.

At a time when specialist surgeries like Lasik were in their developmental stage and instruments to perform them were rare and few, Indian Doctors took the initiative to invent them, thus overcoming the handicap to perform precision surgeries, imposed by their non-availability.

This in turn obviated the need to procure high priced surgical instruments from abroad that were necessary for performing these operations till now. The indigenously designed surgical instruments and tools were now available in the country at only one fourth of their price overseas.

Pioneer of Lasik surgery in India and Medical Director of the Banaji Eye Clinic and the Laser Eyecare Group (India), Dr Burjor P Banaji is one such inventor.

He devised popular surgical instruments like Banaji Lasik Spatulas and Marker and Banaji Lasik Canulae at a time when there were no specific instruments for Lasik surgery and very few surgeons were performing it worldwide.

Banaji Eye Clinic was founded by Dr Burjor s grandfather way back in 1908 and since then continues to render medical service on both national and international level.

Priced at hundreds of dollars in the United States and being sold in Switzerland, Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, Korea and Japan, Dr. Banaji’s instruments are available in India at fraction of the international price.

Specialising in Lasik, Dr. Banaji performs cataract and corneal surgery. He has also taught Lasik to surgeons around the world including the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and countries lying in the Pacific Rim.

It is not only in the field of ophthalmology, where Indian doctors like Dr. Banaji have made their mark.

Cardiac surgeons and innovators like Dr Nemish A Shah, Dr MR Girinath, Dr Srikant Kole and the late Dr Meharji P Mehta have innovated devices for heart surgery like heart and tissue valves, cardioplegia device (for paralysing heart), needle bulldog (clamp to stop bleeding) and mitral valve hook, among others.

During its nascent stage, not even 25 heart surgeries were performed in a year in India.

Dr. Kole, an Associate Cardiac surgeon at JJ Hospital, Mumbai has patented his cardioplegia device, which was initially made of stainless steel and later of glass and finally, disposable plastic.

Dr. Kole s Cardioplegia system is designed to simplify Cardioplegia Delivery by providing most efficient heat exchanger, air eliminator particulate filtration and venting capabilities.

While Cardioplegia device are generally available in the market for something around Rs. 5,000 to Rs 6,000, Dr. Kole’s device is available at only Rs. 2000.

Dr. Anil Bhan, Director-Cardiac Surgery, Max Devki Devi Heart and Vascular Institute, New Delhi, is credited with designing and developing more than 150 surgical instruments.

Dr. Bhan has successfully performed more than 10,000 cardiac and vascular procedures and has developed one of the largest paediatric cardiac surgical programmes in the country.

Having a large experience of Aortic Surgery, Dr. Bhan has designed retractors, protractors and clamps for performing critical heart surgeries, and has now applied for patents for them in India and Germany.

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