New Delhi, 29th January, 2018: Mr. Naseera from Alwar, Rajasthan was a 75 year old man who was suffering from end stage oropharyngeal cancer, which was surgically removed through a path breaking surgery which involved the intricate use of endoscopic tools. Mr Naseera had registered himself with UMEED, an initiative which is focused on providing quality and affordable cancer care. It also provides subsidized treatment for Oral and Breast Cancers to the underprivileged. Through this initiative he met Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, Department of Head Neck & Breast Oncoplasty and his team, comprising of Dr Deepak Jha and Dr Yogesh Jain who were able to end his suffering by performing the first of its kind ‘Trans Oral Video Endoscopic Surgery (TOVES)’.
TOVES is an approach to treat Oropharngeal Cancers(Cancer of Tonsil and Back of Tongue; Throat) surgically which involves usage of conventional Endoscopic (Laparoscopic), instruments which are similar to those used for performing Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, costing about 1/3rd or even less as compared to Robotic Surgery and very less mutilating as compared to open surgery which involves incising the neck and cutting through jaw bone. It involved 2 months of improvisation and efforts to make these instruments suitable for Trans oral surgery. This technique enables the surgeon to stand right at the patient’s Head maintaining the close doctor patients connect. Trans Oral Video Endoscopic Surgery (TOVES) as named by Japanese, as compared to Robotic Surgery (TORS), has the main benefit of bringing down the cost drastically and making this treatment affordable to a large section of our society, and also has the advantage of maintaining the direct doctor patient connect. Surgical techniques like TOVES should be extensively evaluated, researched, improvised and applied for the larger benefit of our people as well as across the world.
On completing the surgery successfully Dr Mandeep said, “We researched and studied extensively before we conducted TOVES. Our main aim was to ensure that the patient gets the same results as what is achieved by robotic surgery. It wasn’t easy as we had to do two months of intensive preparation and improvisation to make the TOVES procedure a viable option for the patient. The benefit of doing TOVES is that there is a possibility of delivering the benefits of Transoral approach in substantially less costs for treating oropharangeal cancers vis a vis Trans Oral Robotic Surgery(TORS). Surgical techniques like TOVES should be evaluated, researched, improvised and applied for the larger benefit of people all over the world.”
Mr. Sandeep Guduru, Facility Director at FHVK said, “When Dr Mandeep and his team approached me with this procedure, I was confident that it would be a milestone in the treatment of oral cancer. They have worked hard to conduct this challenging and innovative surgery, thus creating a treatment option which was result oriented and cost effective. I am happy to see so much passion in the doctors and the medical staff. They have revolutionised cancer treatment for those who may have previously found it unaffordable, and by doing so have gone beyond their call of duty to make the impossible possible.”
On his recovery Mr Naseera said, “I was at my wit’s end about what to do. I wasn’t able to afford conventional treatment and therefore I registered myself with UMEED. I had forgotten how to eat and smile, but it was the team of doctors at Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj who brought everything back to my life. The registry through UMEED helped me immensely as it gave me an inkling of who to approach and where to seek treatment from. I can proudly say that I am much better, and am a healthy, successful and living example of TOVES treatment. I was wholly dependent on the doctors at Fortis and they delivered their best. I trusted them and they gave me the treatment I required at a cost I could afford it at.”