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RNOH’S ROBOT: Stanmore hospital makes NHS history after complex spinal surgery   

 Published on: 5th December 2019   |   By: Charlie Reynolds   |   Category: Uncategorized

A hospital in Stanmore made NHS history last month after becoming the first centre in the UK to use a robot to assist surgeons during a procedure. 

Robotic Assisted Spinal Surgery (RASS), which is transforming the operating theatre, was used at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) for a complex spinal procedure on a teenage girl to correct scoliosis.

The Mazor X Stealth Edition™ (MXSE) is the latest generation of robotic guidance platforms that assist surgeons with sophisticated real-time 3D imaging, advanced anatomy recognition and enhanced navigation that will increase patient safety and surgical precision.

RNOH will also become the first Reference Centre within Europe to train visiting surgical teams from around the globe in partnership with Medtronic Ltd, the manufacturer of the MXSE.

Speaking about how it works, Sean Molloy, consultant spinal surgeon at RNOH, said: “The MXSE affords us an unprecedented level of accuracy during spinal surgery. A surgical plan can be meticulously designed prior to the patient entering the operating theatre (just like one might enter a postcode into a satellite navigation system to plan a specific route). 

“Once surgery is underway the robotic arm will assist our surgeons to guide precise placement of the spinal implants according to the pre-operative plan. Spinal surgery has well recognised neurological risks and by utilising the MXSE we will be able to perform safer surgery on our patients.”

The MXSE can be used for both open and minimally invasive procedures and is seen as an extension of the surgeon’s skills; supporting the surgeon throughout the procedure. 

The technology will be used in both paediatric and adult spinal surgical cases across a range of pathologies including spinal deformity, degenerative spinal disease, traumatic fracture fixation and in the management of spinal cancers.

Dr Lila Dinner, RNOH Medical Director, said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of introducing innovative technology into the NHS for the benefit of some of our most complex patients. This is a marvellous example of the values we all share to ensure the NHS continues to provide world-class care for all”.

Robotic Assisted Spinal Surgery will help surgeons to perform complex spinal procedures in a more minimally invasive way and may, as a result, potentially reduce the overall time patients have to stay in hospital.

Owing to the increased accuracy of implant placement, it is expected that we will also see a reduction in the rate of revision spinal surgeries.

Rob Hurd, Chief Executive of the RNOH, said: “For decades the RNOH has been at the forefront of orthopaedic medicine in the UK and now, with the MXSE, it is maintaining that position as a centre for innovation. The RNOH is the first NHS Trust to deliver complex spinal surgery using this technology, a major step-change in how surgery will be carried out in the coming years not just here at the RNOH, but across the NHS.”

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