Robot-Assisted Spine Surgery – Extreme precision, Faster recovery

March 13, 2018

What is Robot-assisted Spine Surgery?

Robot-assisted spine surgery is a surgical procedure that uses a robot in instrumentation part of a spinal operation. The robot uses sophisticated software synchronized with images from intraoperative 3D scanner to maximize accuracy of implant fixation.
 



How is it done?

After obtaining 3D spinal images, your surgeon will design the spinal construct in advanced software at the beginning of the operation. The robot will be synced to the patient through a reference attached onto the spine.

The robot arm will move, as directed by the surgeon, to desired starting point and adjust its arm position to the programmed screw trajectory. Rigidity of the robot arm allows the surgeon to place the screw with extreme precision.

 

Advantages

  • Safer instrumentation as a result of highly precise robotic arm.
  • Spinal implants can be specifically designed for patients with challenging anatomy.
  • Faster recovery from key-hole approach
  • Less radiation exposure



Disadvantages

More expense for disposable robot parts.



Who are candidates for robot-assisted spine surgery?

All patients who need posterior spinal instrumentation.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is this surgery done automatically by the robot?

  • No. The robot will assist only in instrumentation part by suggesting safe pathway and rigid guidance through its arm. The surgeon still need their judgment and experience for safe screw placement.

How can the robot deal with delicate things like a nerve inside the spine?

  • The delicate part of the operation such as microscopic nerve decompression and preparing fusion surface is done solely by the surgeon. The robot deals with instrumentation only.

How much cost will be added to a spinal operation when we use the robot?

  • The cost is about 25% higher for disposable robot parts.
 

Written by Spine Institute, Bumrungrad International Hospital
 
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