Health Care and Technology

Hospital enlists robot for spinal procedures

August 29, 2017
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Mazor X spine surgery system Metro Health
Doctors use the Mazor X robotic system during a spinal surgery. Courtesy Metro Health

A local health system is bolstering its spine program, courtesy of a new robotic surgery system.

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health is the first hospital in Michigan to acquire the Mazor X spine surgery system, used for minimally invasive procedures. The surgical assistance program uses “unprecedented” tools and analytics to plan operations and image-based guidance during the procedures.

“Minimally invasive surgery has been a major focus at Metro Health in recent years,” said Peter Hahn, chief medical officer. “The Mazor X will further enable our surgeons to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

While minimally invasive procedures are advantageous over open surgery — by requiring smaller incisions, they result in less pain, blood loss and quicker recovery — it poses challenges for surgeons because of the limited view during surgery. The Mazor X uses a CT-based 3-dimensional simulation of the patient’s spine, which allows the surgeons develop an “optimal” plan prior to the operation. Additionally, computer analytics provide precision guidance during surgery.

“Mazor X allows us to operate with greater accuracy, efficiency and confidence,” Hahn said. “We believe this is the safest and most accurate minimally invasive technology for spine procedures available.”

Metro Health also was the first hospital in the state to use Mazor Robotics’ previous-generation system, the Renaissance guidance system.

“After completing more than 400 safe and successful surgeries with the previous robot, it was an easy decision to pioneer the Mazor X in Michigan,” said John Keller, chief of neurosurgery. “This new robot gives us advantages before and during surgery that were not available even two years ago.”

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