How Minimally Invasive Procedures are Changing the Game

Nitin Stephen Abel, Senior Director, Terumo Interventional Systems (TIS) at Terumo India Private Limited

 minimally invasive procedures, interventional radiology, targeted therapy

Nitin Stephen Abel, Senior Director, Terumo Interventional Systems (TIS) at Terumo India Private Limited engaged in a conversation with India Pharma Outlook magazine to provide insights on minimally invasive procedures that are transforming the healthcare industry. He has immense experience in interventional cardiology and interventional radiology. He has worked in the interventional field for over two decades with reputed MNCs like Abbott and Boston Scientific. His last role was with Philips where he was responsible for the sales of capital equipment including MR, CT and ultrasound. He has been in leadership roles across organizations for the last 12 years. 


What are the key advantages of minimally invasive procedures compared to traditional surgical methods?

Minimally invasive procedures offer several key advantages over traditional surgical methods. These procedures do not require major surgery, so the body doesn't need large incisions. Typically, only a small incision, about a quarter of an inch to an inch, is necessary to access the body and address diseases or pain.

One significant advantage is minimal blood loss, which enhances safety and reduces pain for the patient. Additionally, these procedures cause fewer traumas and leave smaller scars. Minimally invasive procedures also lead to quicker recovery times, allowing patients to spend fewer days in the hospital and reducing their risk of infections.

In summary, the medical field is increasingly adopting minimally invasive procedures over traditional surgery due to these numerous benefits, supported by emerging technologies.


How have advancements in technology contributed to the development and success of minimally invasive procedures?

If you look at how advancements in technology have shaped minimally invasive procedures, you'll see a remarkable transformation. For instance, gastro-surgeons and general surgeons are now utilizing minimally invasive techniques and robotic-assisted surgeries. These innovations are all about detecting the specific area of treatment and performing targeted therapy to eliminate the problem, leading to better outcomes and faster recovery times.

In cardiology, if you consider the last 30 years, it's incredible to see the shift from traditional bypass surgeries to minimally invasive heart procedures. This change is largely due to technological improvements in medical equipment and devices, which have revolutionized the healthcare landscape over the past two decades.

When you look at radiology, you'll notice a significant evolution in the role of interventional radiologists and endovascular specialists. Initially, they focused on approving procedures based on imaging technologies. However, over time, they've started performing treatments themselves, giving rise to the field of interventional radiology, which has grown significantly in the last decade.

At Terumo India, we are also actively working towards bringing in all the latest technology to advance the minimally invasive surgery ecosystem in India. For instance, just a few months back we launched the balloon occlusion catheter Occlusafe which has paved the way for an advanced therapy Balloon TACE for the treatment of liver cancer. The team has also brought in other cutting-edge technologies such as drug eluting beads like Lifepearl, latest technology micro catheters like Progreat Lambda, and next generation drug eluting stents like Ultimaster Nagomi & there are more innovations in the pipeline.

Moreover, Terumo India will continue its mission to help upgrade skills of Healthcare Professionals. To this end, we have our Terumo India Skill Lab (commonly known as TISL) and are bringing in the latest training models and hosting training & academic activities.  

Therefore, innovations like these have truly contributed to the development and success of minimally invasive procedures.


What are some common types of minimally invasive procedures, and for which medical conditions are they most commonly used?

Cardiovascular diseases are amongst the most common in India today, with nearly 2.7 million patients dying from cardiac-related complications each year. The causes include hypertension, diabetes, and lifestyle diseases like obesity.This is why cardiac-related problems are calling out for more interventions.

In India, there are close to 2,500 cath labs where minimally invasive heart procedures take place. New techniques and technologies have also emerged, such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which looks into the lesion itself, and OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), which uses light instead of sound. For liver cancer, there is a minimally invasive treatment option called TACE (Trans Arterial Chemo Embolisation), with recent advancements leading to Balloon TACE. Other procedures on the rise include Uterine Fibroid Embolisation for uterine fibroids, Genicular Artery Embolisation for knee pain management and Prostate Artery Embolisation for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

These advancements in minimally invasive procedures have significantly improved patient outcomes by reducing recovery times, minimizing pain and trauma, and lowering the risk of complications.


What impact do minimally invasive procedures have on healthcare costs and patient outcomes?

The transformation from traditional surgical procedures to minimally invasive techniques is a significant achievement. Traditional surgical procedures were relatively time-consuming and costly, as patients had to undergo larger incisions that took longer to heal. With minimally invasive procedures, a person can receive treatment within a day or two and resume normal life much more quickly. This approach is not only cost-effective for patients but also more predictable in terms of outcomes. Various technological innovations have also boosted the efficiency of minimally invasive procedures, further enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness.

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