Dr SS Sathappan

Robotic-arm assisted surgery in Farrer Park Hospital

Farrer Park Hospital is Singapore’s first private hospital to introduce robotic-arm assisted surgery for full hip and knee replacement procedures – individuals with joint diseases can be treated more accurately with robotic-arm assisted surgery.

Osteoarthritis is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joints in the body. It commonly occurs in the weight-bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine. It also affects the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe.

Most people over age 60 have osteoarthritis (OA) to some degree. In a Bangladesh population aged above 60 years, the prevalence of OA is about 30% and rising. Even people in their 20s and 30s can get osteoarthritis, although there is often an underlying reason, such as joint injury or repetitive joint stress from overuse. When osteoarthritis pain is not managed, the pain can prevent patients from doing daily activities, then patients may want to consider surgery.

Farrer Park Hospital (FPH) is the only private hospital in Singapore that implements MAKOplasty® robotic-arm assisted surgery for total hip replacements with total knee replacement procedure soon to follow. Total hip replacement surgery involves the removal of arthritic bone and damaged cartilage, and replacing them with hip implants that are designed to replicate the joint. Meanwhile, partial knee replacement is a surgical procedure that helps relieve arthritis in one or two of the three compartments of the knee. Partial knee replacement will only be conducted at the damaged area, which may help to minimize trauma to healthy bone and tissue and allows accelerated rehabilitation.


“As a hospital built and managed by Specialists, our founding doctors have great insights into the clinical realm of new treatment options. Technology must be combined with a skilled surgeon and a well-trained team. In an example of joint replacement surgery, Dr. SS Sathappan who practices at Farrer Park Hospital is one of Singapore’s foremost Orthopedic surgeons. He is the first surgeon in Singapore to perform the customized joint replacement. It is the good combination of a surgeon, modern operating theatre and skilled team together with good technology that delivers good clinical outcome” shares Dr. Timothy Low, Board Director at FPH.

“Our focus has always been on Value. Good clinical outcome, fair prices, comfortable environs, and caring staff. This focus has enabled the hospital to win the coveted Value-Based Hospital award, voted by patients and vetted by regional healthcare experts, at the Global Health and Travel Award last year,” he added.

Prior to the advent of robotics implant placement at the surgery would require the surgeon to rely on his or her experience and visual landmarks to gauge in trying to ensure accuracy. With robotic surgery, this estimation is taken out of the equation. Robotic surgery is akin to using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to direct accurate cuts and placement of components. The traditional surgery is like using a road map rather than a GPS plotter and planner. The precision of robotics is unparalleled.

In the near future, robotic systems to aid surgeons in surgery will become widely accepted. Using smartphones with GPS is now the norm and it will be intuitive for patients to accept robotic systems. With information easily available on the internet, patients have resources on hand to know more and to compare different options. We can expect an increase in demand for employing the use of a robotic system to help them conduct the joint replacement moving forward.

Dr SS Sathappan

Dr. SS Sathappan

Dr. SS Sathappan is Medical Director of Bone and Joint Specialist Clinic. He is trained in orthopedic surgery. He has special interest in adult reconstructive surgery (joint replacement), sports surgery and management of complex pelvic and acetabular trauma and was the first surgeon to perform customized joint replacement. Other procedures he performs include live-fibula graft surgery in avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip and hip resurfacing procedures, key-hole meniscal and ligament reconstruction procedures. His interest in optimizing high-flexion in patients had led to his involvement in design options through international multi-center clinical research groups. He also performs robotic joint replacement surgery (MAKOplasty®).

Apart from clinical practice, Dr. Sathappan was Adjunct Assistant Professor and also Clinical tutor in NUS, Specialty Board Member for the Chapter of Orthopedic Surgeons (Singapore), Clinical Research coordinator; ATLS Course Instructor; and BCLS Course Instructor. He has written numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in several orthopedic textbooks. Annually, he is involved in numerous international hip and knee orthopedic meetings as invited faculty where he often lectures in various subspecialties. He has also been trained in acupuncture and provides treatment to selected patients with chronic joint and back pain.

Dr. Sathappan has won numerous awards during his training years and as a consultant in a restructured hospital. His most recent achievement was the EXSA Superstar Award (2009) for which he was the recipient for four consecutive years for the Gold Award since 2005. Other awards included Yahya Cohen Surgical award (2008), NUS teaching excellence award (2007/08), NHG Quality Pillar Award (2007/08); Best Clinical Practice Improvement Program award (2007); Young Orthopedic Investigator award (2007); Hip & Knee Arthritis and Reconstruction Scholarship (Hip & Knee Society, USA 2005); Supple best student in medicine award (1995).

Interested patients can contact the following address in Dhaka, Bangladesh for services in Farrer Park Hospital.

Ms. Farzana Wali Liza @+8801783929292
International Medical Consultants (IMC)
Sky Touch, (2nd floor), 43/R, 5/C, Panthopath, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh


This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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