Greenslopes Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Jean Clark


Robot saves life of 93-year-old grandmother

Mar 29, 2019

A 93-year-old Brisbane woman has become one of the oldest people in the world to undergo major robotic bowel cancer surgery.

Earlier this year, a tumour was found on the right side of Jean Clark’s bowel during a colonoscopy.

Greenslopes Private Hospital colorectal surgeon Dr Joy Chakraborty was brought in to talk to her about her options.

Dr Chakraborty said Mrs Clark was determined to have surgery.

“She said, ‘doc, I want to live for longer so I can spend more time with my children and grandchildren’,” he said.

Dr Chakraborty said the woman was in good health for her age and considered suitable to be put under anaesthetic.

“But we wanted to do something minimally invasive to lessen her pain, improve her recovery and reduce the risk for complications – so we decided to do it robotically,” he said.

Dr Chakraborty said Greenslopes Private Hospital’s robotic surgical system, which he is using for more and more procedures, enabled him to remove the cancer and stitch the bowel back together without exposing her to any major incisions.

“The technology that we now have, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up – it’s amazing,” he said.

The grandmother was walking around the ward within a day, eating and drinking normally and had her bowel function return to normal.

She stopped taking even Panadol on the second day because she wasn’t in any pain and was able to go home 24 hours after that.

Dr Chakraborty said although people of her age had undergone smaller robotic procedures before, bowel surgery was a big operation.

“To walk away without pain is incredible,” he said.

Dr Chakraborty said robotic surgery was a game-changer for anyone who needed a major bowel operation.

“They typically experience less pain, their recovery is faster and because they leave hospital quicker, they have less exposure to infections,” he said.

“The whole health care system also benefits because it makes more beds available for other patients.”

Robot saves life of 93-year-old grandmother
From Left to right: Ms Terry McLaren, Director of Clinical
Services, Dr Joy Chakraborty, General Surgeon & Mrs Jean
Dr Joy Chakraborty

With permission from Courier Mail