Mona Kashwani, a gynaecologist at Sharjah’s Al Qassimi Women’s and Children’s Hospital, has become the first female Emirati doctor to conduct robotic surgery at a government hospital in the UAE.
Kashwani works at Al Qassimi, under Emirates Health Services (EHS), where she performs minimally invasive operations to carry out total and supra-cervical hysterectomies and cure uterine prolapse and fibroids.
The gynaecologist received her license to perform robotic surgery last month.
She passed out from the Queen Mary University of London in 2005 and later in 2019, and she took a course to train to use the da Vinci surgical system, which enables surgeons to conduct complex minimally invasive surgical processes with precision and accuracy.
Consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists Dr Kashwani and her colleague Shalini Malhotra were chosen to participate in the Women Robotic Surgeons Programme.
This meant they had to spend a long time away from home and family, specialising in the skill.
They were taught by Dr Labib Riachi, an American specialist who knows about advanced robotic gynaecological surgery.
It also included thorough studying of online material about the way of alternative surgery and conducting exercises on simulators.
Dr Kashwani stated that it did not stop her despite having two little kids, one born only weeks after the programme started.
She further said they had to keep practising with the simulators because the skills would be lost gradually if they stayed detached from them for a long time.
After the completion of her training, she went to Strasbourg in France in May 2021, where she was tried by the IRCAD Training Centre on the use of an advanced da Vinci surgical robot.
She got her licence and certificate that same month. When the programme started, patients were very uncomfortable but showed more trust in the new technology.
Women who used to go abroad for treatment now come to Al Qassimi Hospital.
The team members have conducted 207 robotic surgeries so far since the initiation of the programme and hope more people will show their faith in the technology.
“This is one of the busiest gynaecological robotic surgeries in the Middle East,” stated Dr Riachi, travelling throughout the area to conduct the complex operations.