Innovative Explorations in Thoracic Surgery
Dr Faiz Bohra April 18, 2014
Aga Khan University has several distinguished alumni with Dr Faiz Bohra ’92 as one of them. A leading authority on thoracic surgery, Dr Bohra is currently the Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Director of Thoracic Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Surgery Research at the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Continuum Cancer Centers in New York. He is Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Columbia University.
In a recent visit to the AKU campus in Karachi, Dr Bohra took time out to discuss current innovations in the field of thoracic surgery, from robotics to bioengineering with aspiring doctors.
Robotics as a field demands dexterity and remarkable expertise. It is being explored and applied in various surgical subspecialties due to its promise of making a procedure less invasive and hence less painful for the patient. While addressing the audience, Dr Bhora, who specializes in minimally invasive approaches to thoracic surgery, shared with the audience the pros and cons of using sensitive robotics arms in his practice.
Research is another area of interest to Dr Bohra. Recently, he embarked on a journey to revolutionize the treatment of people with malformations of the windpipe, either as a result of congenital abnormalities or cancer.
Dr Bhora’s novel approach involves ‘printing’ the affected piece of the airway from a 3-D printer. The team made a 3D airway using a biological gel solution, hydrogel, before embedding stem cells within it. The cells were then allowed to grow and differentiate.
His first trial was with stem cells taken from a baby animal. Three months after the bioengineered trachea was implanted, the baby animal had tripled in weight and doubled in size and the trachea appears to be growing with it.
While human trials are still far off, the successful implementation of 3-D windpipes may someday lead to entire human organs being printed.