Robot lends a helping hand in spinal surgery
|01/07/2018||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
Dr Awad Mohammad users a Robot to assist with spinal surgery at Valley private hospital. Photo: Joe ArmaoA robot is being used to perform spinal surgery for the first time in Victoria, allowing surgeons to guide screws and rods into the spine with pinpoint accuracy.
Spinal surgeon Richard Bittar said the robot was a big advance in spinal surgery that minimised complications and allowed a speedier recovery for patients.
He has used the robot to help him perform six spinal fusion operations at Mulgrave’s Valley Private Hospital since late January.
The first step is to feed the results of a sophisticated CT scan of the patient’s spine into a computer attached to the robot.
Surgeons use the computer to plot the surgery around critical structures including the spinal cord and nerves, before clamping the cylinder-shaped robot to the patient’s spine.
Programmed by the computer, an arm attached to the robot guides the surgeon’s instruments to the exact position and angle where incisions should be made.
“Even though we are still performing the surgery and working the drill ourselves, having the robot guiding us allows us to execute procedures with an extremely high degree of accuracy,” Professor Bittar said.
The robot assists surgeons to implant devices such as screws and rods needed to strengthen the spine.
Professor Bittar said the robot allowed surgeons to place screws in the spine with 99 per cent accuracy, up from about 90 per cent using conventional methods.
“You are not replacing the surgeon, you are just giving them a fantastic tool to be able to do this with a much greater degree of precision.
“It’s not like flying an aeroplane and hitting the auto-pilot button.
“All the time you have to feel what is going on, in case the robot moves in relation to the patient or the drill slips off the edge of a bone.”
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons spokesman John Quinn said robotic technology was most commonly used in prostate surgery, and in some cases for operations inside the mouth for oral cancer.
“The advantage perhaps is that it’s being done in confined spaces that sometimes hands and other instruments can’t get to.”
Dr Quinn said robots could be a useful tool for surgeons “but I think in lots of areas it’s still finding its place”.
“It does require a lot of training and extra skill to do it. The robots are fairly expensive and to justify their use you really need to show that it’s producing better outcomes than what’s available at the moment,” he said.
Among those impressed with the technology is Mario Cattapan, 65, who on January 22 became the first Victorian patient to have robot-assisted spinal surgery.
He said he “feared all sorts of things” after finding out he needed spinal surgery, including being laid up for weeks unable to move, and needing months of rehabilitation.
Mr Cattapan said he was recovering well and was surprised to be able to walk around soon after waking up from the surgery.
“My wife and I have put it down to the precision of robotics, it hasn’t traumatised anything else in my back.”
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