A new robotic system being deployed at two M Health Fairview hospitals will help increase surgical accuracy and may reduce recovery times for spinal surgery patients.
The system, called the Mazor X Stealth Robotic Guidance Platform, allows spinal surgeons to create detailed digital plans before each procedure, and then uses real-time 3D imagery paired with a robotic guided arm to place spinal implants during operations. The technology is a step forward for spinal fusions, operations to correct spinal deformities, and other complex spinal conditions, according to M Health Fairview Neurosurgen Rohan Lall, MD.
“It’s absolutely crucial to be precise during these procedures,” Lall said. “We often place spinal implants within millimeters of critical nerve elements. Though spinal surgeries are generally very safe, any inaccuracy in placement can have serious consequences.”
The Mazor X Stealth system has already been deployed at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital. A second one is set to arrive later this year, and will be stationed at another hospital within the M Health Fairview system.
The system will most commonly be used on thoracic or lumbar surgeries, Lall said. Generally, candidates for robotic-assisted spinal surgery include people who are experiencing debilitating pain, loss of function, or neurological compromise due to their spinal condition. People with scar tissue from previous procedures or atypical spinal anatomy may also be candidates for the robotic procedure.
Lall hopes that the system will allow M Health Fairview care teams to conduct more minimally invasive spinal surgeries. Patients who undergo traditional open spinal surgeries have longer recovery periods and a greater risk of complications. Minimally invasive techniques can reduce hospital stays and facilitate faster healing, Lall said.
Lall and his fellow M Health Fairview Neurosurgeon Matt Hunt, MD, FRCS, FAANS, plan to explore additional uses for the robotic system. The Mazor may allow surgeons to complete some complex, multi-stage procedures during a single operation, Lall said, reducing the burden on patients.
“There are some really novel uses for it that as time goes we’ll be able to explore and implement,” Lall said. “This is going to a core part of the future of spinal surgery.”