Recently, Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center became the first outpatient surgery center in the southeastern U.S. — and the second nationwide — to utilize Excelsius GPSTM, a state-of-the-art robotic system that uses real-time image-guided technology to help surgeons perform procedures with unprecedented rates of accuracy. Far from being simply the “latest gadget,” this advanced system takes a huge leap forward in promoting optimal patient outcomes when spinal surgery is the recommended option.
The differentiator between Excelsius GPSTM and other robotic systems is its use of GPS technology in coordination with advanced image mapping. Medical images of the patient’s anatomy are uploaded to the system to create a unique patient plan, determine the exact size and placement of implants. From this data, the robotic arm is navigated to the precise location along the patient’s spine based on the calculated path — not unlike the GPS guidance system in our vehicles. However, Excelsius GPSTM takes this technology a step further by detecting and adapting to the patient’s movements and adjusting the positioning accordingly. This navigation is displayed onscreen in real time for the surgeon and staff so they can make informed decisions during the procedure.
Utilizing this technology during spinal surgery improves and optimizes patient outcomes in a number of ways. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Many spine procedures are already minimally invasive, but GPS technology causes incisions to be even smaller and more precise, making minimally invasive surgery even less invasive.
Surgeons and staff take every precaution to perform procedures in a sterile environment. However, anytime the skin is breached (as with a surgical procedure), there is at least a mild risk of infection. The smaller the incision, the lesser the risk. With the improved precision and accuracy provided by Excelsius GPSTM, surgical incisions are as small as possible, potentially reducing the patient’s risk of infection.
Simply put, advanced imaging and robotics make the surgeon’s job easier, as well as the tasks of the attending staff. A streamlined workflow allows for potentially shortened surgery times, as well as the length of time the patient is under anesthesia. These factors reduce the overall risk to the patient.
Shorter surgery times also mean the patient, surgeon and staff are all exposed to reduced levels of radiation during the process, creating a healthier surgical environment for all involved.
Often in conventional spinal surgery, the surgeon must cut through muscle tissue to access the spine, adding to surgical trauma. With precision robotic GPS navigation, the surgeon can separate the muscle tissues without tearing them. This can greatly reduce the loss of blood and reduce post-surgery pain.
Most robotic spine surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient can go home the same day. An overnight hospital stay is only required for more extensive procedures or in the event of complications. This, too, reduces the risk of infection and provides an optimal environment for recovery.
Between improved accuracy, reduced physical trauma and reduced infection risks, the patient is far more likely to recover quickly after the procedure with less pain and less mobility restriction. This allows the patient to resume activities and get back to a sense of normalcy sooner than they would using conventional surgical methods.
Put plainly, greater accuracy during surgery means greater odds that the surgery itself will accomplish its purpose. Robotic spine surgery gives the patient a better chance at a successful outcome and full recovery.
Polaris Spine & Neurosurgical Center is committed to providing the highest possible quality of care to our patients, including utilizing the latest medical advances designed to optimize patient outcomes. This is why we are proud to be among the very first outpatient clinics to offer the Excelsius GPSTM robotic system. To learn more about robotic spine surgery and discuss your options, call Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center at 404-256-2633.