Are robots taking over the operating room? November 8th, 2018 Back Pain scott When you hear the term “robotic surgery,” do you get visions of Transformers-style beings stomping around the operating room? That might be how Hollywood would interprets it, but the reality of robotic spinal surgery is much different. This leading trend among minimally invasive surgical techniques doesn’t offer a scenario in which robots will replace surgeons, but, rather, enhance surgical capabilities by a select few top surgeons in the country. Those surgeons include Dr. Mark C. Valente, Board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon and Founder and Medical Director of the DISC Spine Institute, a leader in minimally invasive back and neck treatments and surgical procedures. Dr. Valente has begun incorporating robot surgery into his impressive repertoire at the DISC Spine Institute, using the Mazor Robotics Renaissance® Guidance System (MazorX) to make minimally invasive surgeries even more beneficial for patients. Dr. Valente is one of the very few surgeons in the country utilizing robotic surgery for minimally invasive spinal surgery. “We are proud to announce the addition of this exciting new medical advancement at the DISC Spine Institute,” said Dr. Valente “This robotic surgery using the Renaissance® Guidance System and MazorX’s proprietary 3D software improves upon existing minimally invasive surgeries in a few key ways: It enables enhanced preoperative planning and challenge identification, which allows the surgeon to create a customized surgical plan and make necessary adjustments before they reach the operating room. The software provides a clear and highly detailed picture of the patient’s anatomy, which is important in every circumstance but is especially key in those cases where there is limited line of sight. Robotic surgery further reduces surgical time while increasing efficiency and accuracy up to 1.5mm with pin point precision.” The better a surgeon can see and access the anatomy, the better the result for the patient. Even those who have lauded minimally invasive surgeries without the benefit of robotics are impressed. “During the last decade and a half, robotic-assisted surgery has led to smaller scars, less pain, and faster recoveries for patients,” said Medgadget. “Concurrently, surgeons using this technology have benefited from being able to perform surgeries in a more comfortable position, while also experiencing greater visualization and enhanced precision.” Robotic surgery at the DISC Spine Institute can further shrink what is already a tiny incision by using a unique Skin Incision Tool to further reduce healing time and dramatically lowering the incidence of post-operative infections. There is also less time under anesthesia because of the extensive pre-operative planning that can be done with MazorX. Additional benefits of robotic surgery to the patient include: Lower radiation rates because less fluoroscopy is used Mechanical guidance creates unparalleled precision. With outpatient or one-night stays, patients can return to work and a pain-free life sooner Clinical studies show that robotic surgeries result in reduced postoperative pain and lower complication rates. While robotic surgeries are on the rise, surgeons who are qualified to perform them remain limited. “Continued training, further expansion of surgical skills, and a concentration on technical advancements have always been priorities at the DISC Spine Institute because they allow us to focus on the betterment of patients,” said Dr. Valente. “I am proud to be among a select group of surgeons who has trained to learn the principles of this exciting new discipline and to be qualified to perform robotic minimally invasive procedures. The potential impact of robotic surgery on our specialty is tremendous, but when I think about how these procedures can change the life of even one patient…it’s just thrilling.” When it’s time to put an end to your pain, visit the DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain today. Minimally invasive surgical techniques mean treating chronic back pain is easier than ever, with outpatient treatments, small incisions, and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.