Robot system offers safer spinal surgery

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The latest robot technology for spinal surgery is now available in Victoria, offering relief for patients with chronic back pain.

Melbourne's Warringal Private Hospital is the third Ramsay Health Care facility to introduce the million-dollar Mazor X Stealth Edition system, which was first used in Australia in 2020 at Gold Coast's Pindara Private Hospital and Sydney's North Shore Private Hospital.

The cutting-edge robotic device, made by Medtronic, aims to provide spine surgeons and their patients with options for advanced procedures with the safest possible results.

“Surgery is continually evolving and offering better outcomes,” said Dr Keat Ooi, who performed the first Mazor X-assisted operation at Warringal Private Hospital on a 65-year-old man with a degenerative spine condition.

The robotic guidance platform integrates and streamlines three complex processes, reducing the risk of errors.

“The Mazor X is designed to allow for improved accuracy in the planning, guidance and visualisation of spine surgery,” Dr Ooi said.

“It can build a 3D simulation of a patient’s spine and allow us to see every minute detail of the spine during surgery.”

More than 3.7 million Australians live with chronic back pain, and the hospital – based in Melbourne's north-east suburbs – hopes to attract patients from around the country.

“I believe in adopting new technology to improve safety for our patients and look forward to seeing how else the robot can help in the future,” Dr Ooi added.

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