March 24, 2021 Baptist Health South Florida
Marcus Neuroscience Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital Completes Its First Robot-Assisted Spine Surgery
The Institute is the only facility in the area that has this very advanced technology
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The patient, a man in his 70s, underwent a spinal fusion to stabilize the lumbar region of his back using the Mazor X™ Robotic Guidance Platform.
“Robotics allow us to perform surgeries with increased safety and precision, leading to less blood loss, less postoperative pain, and faster recovery,” said neurosurgeon Frank Vrionis, MD, director of the Institute. “With our new advanced robotic system, we will be able to perform more minimally invasive procedures safely and effectively. This is especially beneficial for our aging population, as it reduces the risk of infection and shortens hospital stays.”
The robotics platform assists surgeons by combining preoperative 3D planning, robotic guidance and intraoperative surgical navigation for accurate placement of spinal implants and screws. “The margin of error in the spine is very small,” says Dr. vrionis. “If you put hardware in the spine, there are times when one millimeter is enough to leave someone with weakness or a neurological problem. The more accurate we can be, the better.”
The Mazor X™ Robotic Guidance Platform provides surgeons with comprehensive information and visualization before they ever make an incision. Using 3D imaging and computer analysis, the surgeon plans an optimal operation in a CT-based 3D simulation of the patient’s spine. This means that the angle, width and length of each screw is mapped very specifically for each patient and guided in real time during surgery.
During surgery, the multi-joint robotic arm gives the surgeon the exact, individualized trajectory to place screws, cages, or other implants into the bones. Advanced intraoperative imaging and 3D cameras synchronize the position of the robotic surgical arm with the preoperative surgical blueprint. The robotic arm serves as a guide as the surgeon inserts tools and implants, ensuring correct location, trajectory and depth.
“Like other robotic-assisted technologies, this system enhances the surgeon’s human skills to deliver superior precision — while maintaining complete control of the procedure,” explains Dr. Vionis out. “The robotic guidance helps surgeons execute the modified surgical plan with exceptional precision through micro-incisions.”
As spinal surgery has evolved, more emphasis has been placed on minimally invasive techniques. However, smaller incisions can present a challenge to surgeons due to the limited view of the patient’s anatomy. Combining preoperative planning in 3D, robotic guidance, and intraoperative surgical navigation, the robotic platform will help surgeons treat many spinal conditions.
One is spinal fusion surgery, a procedure that fuses damaged vertebrae using a bone graft to create a single, solid bone. Screws and rods are often used to hold the bones together. The goal is to eliminate pain by stabilizing the spine. Other conditions that may benefit from robotic spinal surgery include degenerative disc disease, spinal deformities, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, revisions to previous surgeries, radiculopathy, complex scoliosis, tumor surgery, and others.
“This technology will set the standard for the future of minimally invasive spine surgery,” said Lincoln Mendez, CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “By bringing this new technology to our area, we are helping to promote faster recovery times, reduce post-operative pain and improve outcomes for our patients. We are doing everything we can to get patients back to doing what they love most as soon as possible.”
Led by Dr. Vrionis, team members of Baptist Health’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute include neurosurgeons Timothy Miller Jr., MD, Brian M. Snelling, MD, Evan M. Packer, MD, and Lloyd Zucker, MD. For more information about the Institute’s backbone program, call 561-955-4600 or visit BRRH.com/MNI.
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, nearly 23,000 employees, more than 4,000 physicians and more than 100 outpatient clinics, emergency care facilities and physician offices located throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of expertise in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neuroscience. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the top 100 companies to work for in America and by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is supported by philanthropy to strengthen its mission to provide the highest quality patient care, satisfaction and safety. To learn more about supporting the mission of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, visit our website at donate.brrh.com.
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