• Robot surgery benefits coming to Geelong

    The new year will bring new orthopaedic surgery options for residents in the Barwon region and south-west Victoria, as Epworth HealthCare extends the use of robot technology across its hospitals in 2022.

    The first procedure using the Mako system at Epworth Geelong is expected soon, dependent on COVID-19 restrictions, and will be the first in the region.

    It will be used to revolutionise hip and knee replacement operations, for which surgeons currently rely on patient X-rays taken in the days or weeks leading up to surgery.

    “Mako allows you to overlay three-dimensional imaging via a CT scan, with live navigation, so you can perform incredibly precise cuts and implant position,” Epworth Geelong's Executive General Manager Leonie Lloyd said.

    “The robot can even factor in the patient’s soft tissues when implanting the joint replacement, giving individualised patient specific positioning.”

    Orthopaedic surgeon Mr Andrew Thomson is one of a number of specialists who will use the robotic technology, which will significantly improve outcomes for patients.

    “The improved pre-operative planning and precision enabled by the robotic platform ultimately leads to a more accurate placement of the joint replacement and potentially less damage to a patient’s soft tissues,” he said.

    “There is evidence that this can more accurately restore a patient’s anatomy and therefore improve the functional result of the surgery.”

    Victoria's largest not-for-profit private healthcare provider already has two Mako robots in use at its Richmond hospital, and another at Epworth Eastern in Box Hill.

    “Epworth HealthCare introduced its first Mako robot in Melbourne four years ago,” Ms Lloyd added.

    “We are proud that Epworth Geelong is the first hospital in the region to pioneer the use of a Mako robot in orthopaedic surgery.”

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