LIMA — Lima Memorial Health System on Thursday unveiled new robotic-guided technologies designed to improve the precision and accuracy of spinal and brain surgeries.
It’s an expansion of the health system’s surgical robotics program, which already serves as a training site for robotic surgeons.
The new tools — the Mazor X Robotic Guidance Platform for spinal surgery and the Stealth Autoguide System for brain surgeries — allow surgeons to visualize procedures before operating on a patient. Images of the patient are uploaded into a software system, which maps out where incisions should be made pre-surgery.
The systems then guide the surgeon through the procedure, helping navigate spinal implants or tumor removal for what Dr. Jeffrey Lobel, a neurosurgeon for Lima Memorial, said should improve precision, reduce blood loss and keep incisions small, all of which may contribute to less pain and a faster recovery post-surgery.
There’s also less radiation, as the patient is not subjected to an X-ray, and “less fiddling” during surgery, Lobel said.
Without those tools, Lobel said smaller incisions are challenging because the surgeon has a limited view of the patient’s anatomy.
The robotic guidance systems, which relies on advanced software to plan surgeries and guide surgeons through difficult procedures, do not perform the procedures. The technologies instead make recommendations during the planning phase and guide surgeons through the procedure, identifying where incisions should be made, what angle to cut through a patient’s muscle or bone to keep the cut small.
“It doesn’t take the human element out,” Lobel said.