Robotic-Assisted and Navigated Spine Surgery

Robotic-Assisted and Navigated Spine Surgery

For over 37 years in operation, Bumrungrad has always been determined to improve the quality of healthcare services relentlessly by welcoming innovations, creative ideas, and effective and efficient procedures, to keep up with the times.

Towards the era of Healthcare 4.0, upgrading medical quality with advanced technology

Healthcare service businesses in the world are paying more and more attention to innovation and advanced technology to add value to its products and services.Bumrungrad Hospital itself has already been relying on advanced technology to enhance its efficiency in providing medical services.

 “A clear example is the “Pharmacy Robot”. Bumrungrad has been using this state-of-the-art, fully-automated drug management system since 2008. The technology offers high precision and efficiency while also reducing medication errors. Patients then get the right medications in the right doses at the right times as prescribed by their physicians. The system, meanwhile, allows our pharmacists to spend time in taking care of patients more closely,” said Dr. Somsak.

Then in 2016, to increase efficiency and even better results, Bumrungrad brought in the da Vinci System (da Vinci Robot) in robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery. It is also used in gynecological surgery and advanced abdominal laparoscopic surgery. 
Technology in robot-assisted surgery clearly reflects developments in surgery by surgeons as well as in robots that are becoming more efficient every day. Most of all, the technology enables surgeons to operate with high precision as they can see the pictures of the internal organs clearly. 


Robots assisting surgeons add to precision and efficiency

Bumrungrad has brought the spine surgery using precise screw placement technique with minimal invasive surgery since 2013 and with 2D x-ray with O-arm navigator. No fewer than 500 people have been treated this way at Bumrungrad over the past five years. The technology has continuously proved effective and yielded satisfactory results and thus has been well-accepted by both doctors and patients alike. In 2018, Bumrungrad has taken another step further bringing in the robotic arm that enables spine surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control. 

An outstanding feature of this robotic arm to assist spine surgeons is that it can provide surgeons with precise coordinates for precise screw placement in the spine. Moreover, its 3D monitor help surgeons to see the pictures clearly and the robotic arm can bend, turn, and move freely in all directions. This helps reduce surgery time and patients’ blood loss while encouraging fast recovery as the robot-assisted surgery requires tiny incisions and creates little damage to surrounding tissues. Patients thus can return to their normal daily life earlier.   

However, it is noted that such surgery does not rely only on the robotic arm that helps determine coordinates for precise screw placement, but also on the experience and the expertise of the surgeons to place the screws safely.

The robotic arm is a technology that complements surgeons’ work, enabling surgeons to spend more time on even more delicate parts of spine surgery such as in spinal decompression surgery. 
Robot-assisted spine surgery is one of the several treatment approaches for back pain. Physicians will give advice based on symptoms and medical indications as well as causes of back pain. Treatments range from medication to surgery and there are also several kinds of surgery. The most appropriate approach is decided by the physicians and the patients planning together.

The robotic technology also helps the surgeons’ team greatly in preoperative planning of each case so they can perform the spine surgery efficiently with safety and precision, reducing patients’ anxiety to a good extent.


Another medical step in preparing for the aging society

Bumrungrad’s use of new technology in spine surgery, integrating the robotic hardware and software with surgeons’ expertise in planning and working, is definitely another step forward in the medical field of Thailand.

Generally, about 80-90% of patients undergoing spine surgery suffer from the degenerative disease of the spine. With advanced technology in various fields, people now live longer, and in turn, face more degeneration of the spine. However, this is also found in the younger group whose lifestyle and high body weight can add to the degeneration of the spine.

“In the future, using robots will be widespread and will benefit the medical field even more. As a leading private hospital and a pioneer in medical innovations. We are committed to improving quality of treatment, while keeping patient safety and quality standards as priorities. We aim to combine the expertise of our specialists with state-of-the-art medical technology in upgrading the quality and safety of our treatment and care.  All this is with the goal to deliver positive treatment results and experience to each and every patient in our care,” Dr. Somsak said in his final comment.

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