Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | 12:46 WIB

Telerobotic surgery potentially eliminates geographic barriers to urology


Jakarta, IO –  Urology is a branch of medicine that studies disorders of the urinary tract (male and female), as well as the male reproductive organs. The organs studied include the kidneys, ureters (the tube from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder, and urethra (the tube from the bladder to the genitals) as well as male reproductive organs such as the penis, testicles and prostate. Basic Health Research 2018 reports that 6 out of 1,000 people or 1,499,400 suffer from kidney stones, while all men will experience an enlarged prostate in old age, and prostate cancer is the second-most-common cancer found in men throughout the world. 

“Health inflation is always higher than the life expectancy of health costs globally. Only Cuba and India can maintain this funding balance, because they emphasize promotive aspects so that there is less treatment for disease funding. Regarding urological diseases, this is still a big challenge in Indonesia. For example, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), the number of BPJS participants on Java who were diagnosed from 2016 to 2020 was 97,043, with 56,671 undergoing surgery and 49,428 treatments. This figure is quite high, and excludes patients outside Java,” said Deputy Minister of Health Prof. dr. Dante Saksono Harbuwono, Sp.PDKEMD, Ph.D., when opening a press conference with the theme “Road to Urological Association of Asia (UAA) Congress 2004: Indonesia will Develop Telerobotic Surgery, A Surgical Innovation Beyond Barriers” which was held on Wednesday (19/6/2024). 

Only 635 Urologists

 Data from the Indonesian Urological Association (InaUA) lists the number of licensed urologists at 635, with 50.70%, or 322, practicing in Java. “This figure is still very far from the normal ratio of 1 to 1,000. For this reason, the Ministry of Health is encouraging telerobotic surgery – or long-distance surgery – by utilizing robotic technology and wireless networks, because it allows surgeons to carry out operations on patients remotely and in real-time. This technology enables urologists to reach remote areas, so that the quality of service becomes equal, across all regions of Indonesia. Telerobotic surgery is beneficial for compensating for the shortage of specialist surgeons and eliminating geographical barriers; it can help patients in remote areas gain access to the latest surgical procedures,” Prof. Dante explained. 

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On the same occasion, Prof. dr. Chaidir A. Mochtar, Sp.U(K), Ph.D., Chairman of the Indonesian College of Urology, warned that patients generally ignore the symptoms of urological disease, unless there is blood in the urine. “You should also be alert if it hurts when urinating, there is a change in urination pattern, incontinence (difficulty holding urine or leaking), pain in the lower abdomen, UTIs too often, or in men there can also be mass changes in the testicles and erectile dysfunction. Immediately go to the doctor: if it is discovered early, you will certainly be able to get an appropriate treatment. Urological treatment requires technology, including minimally invasive techniques to remove stones from the kidney; transurethral surgery for prostate surgery; laparoscopic and robotic and prosthesis surgery. Patients now have many choices of innovative technology, one of which is telerobotic surgery.” 

Meanwhile, Prof. dr. Ponco Birowo, Sp.U(K), Ph.D., President-Elect of the Urological Association of Asia (UAA) and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, announced that the UAA will be held in Bali, 5-8 September, and will be attended by 5,000 urologists from 60 countries. InaUA acts as host of UAA 2024. (est)


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