MedStar Georgetown University Hospital acquires first and only robotic navigation system for spine surgery in Washington, D.C., region

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Acquires First and Only Robotic Navigation System for Spine Surgery in Washington, D.C., Region

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Patients benefit from improved accuracy and shorter recovery times

WASHINGTON — MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery continues its commitment to delivering leading-edge care by acquiring a unique robotic guidance and navigation system that improves surgical accuracy and speeds recovery time for patients who undergo spine surgery. Globus ExcelsiusGPS is the first and only spine robot of its kind in the world and complements the hospital’s advanced technological capabilities for minimally invasive neurosurgery.

There have been tremendous advances in spinal surgery with the use of less invasive techniques and new technologies over the past 10 years. The ExcelsiusGPS’ robotic guidance, navigation and imaging compatibility provides unique benefits for patients and surgeons.

The navigation system in the ExcelsiusGPS, is similar to what is found in a smart phone or car. Like mobile GPS, it provides real-time visualization of the instruments and screws with relation to the patient’s unique “map”, created from preoperative images, and adjusts accordingly if the patient moves. Merging preoperative CT images of the patient with just a few X-rays taken during surgery allows surgeons to pin point a location on the spine and instruct the robot to aim for the exact location. The robotic guidance ensures surgical instruments are positioned in the correct trajectory, so implants are precisely placed with the robot’s rigid arm. The imaging systems also provide surgeons with the best visualization during surgery eliminates the need for the surgeon to look back and forth between the patient and a separate x-ray image.

“We have built a very strong reputation in spine surgery, particularly in minimally invasive spinal surgery,” said Dr. Faheem Sandhu, director of Spine Surgery at MedStar Georgetown. “In the past, spinal surgery relied heavily on X-rays. This new robot not only helps with more precise placement of implants, it also replaces the need for multiple X-rays during surgery reducing the patient’s and surgeon’s exposure to radiation.

“A spine robot with a navigation system is a game changer because it allows for the effortless placement of spinal implants with great precision,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Voyadzis, co-director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “The ability to place each implant with precise accuracy through even smaller incisions avoiding broad exposure of the spine and long scars result in patients recovering faster, having less postoperative pain and reduced risk of infection or the need for blood transfusions.”

John Buie, had spine surgeries before coming to MedStar Georgetown for treatment of disk degeneration in his L4 and L5. “I was in quite a bit of pain,’ Buie said. “This robotic surgery really helped me recover faster than I did with my previous two surgeries. I was back to normal in about 3 weeks.”

The neurosurgeons at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are leading specialist who work across disciples to provide patients with exceptional leading-edge care. The department of Neurosurgery includes a Joint Commission designated Primary Stroke Center with a 24hour emergency stroke team, the Neurosurgery Multidisciplinary Spine Center offering minimally invasive spine surgery, a Comprehensive Epilepsy Center offering epilepsy surgery an Interventional Neuroradiology Department that research new treatment and diagnostic methods, a Specialized Acoustic Neuroma and Skull Base Tumor Center and a Comprehensive Pediatric Neurosurgery Program.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.