Minimally invasive surgery combines your surgeon’s understanding of anatomy with x-ray imaging to treat spine conditions using small incisions. A minimally invasive technique >permits the surgeon to separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cut through them. The surgeon operates through small incisions along the spine.
It is important to understand that the decision to receive minimally invasive surgery is individualized to the patient and the patient's symptoms. It is important to discuss with your physician whether minimally invasive surgery is right for you.
Robot-assisted spine surgery is a huge advantage for our patients. It decreases blood loss, time in surgery and radiation exposure in the operating room. It allows physicians to accurately and safely place spinal implants around important structures like nerves with high precision.
Robotic guidance acts as an assistant for your surgeon. The robotic arm aligns tools along a planned pathway to place your screw implants. Navigation is a way for your surgeon to see the tools in relation to your body on a screen as they are being used. The robot’s assistance gives the surgeon improved tools to complete these procedures with high safety and accuracy.
No. There is a misconception that the robot performs the surgery. Instead, the robot assists the surgeon during the procedure. It helps us determine the patient's anatomy through high-resolution 3D imaging to create a roadmap for placing spinal implants. The surgeon is still performing the surgery but has better and more accurate information, which allows them to successfully and safely complete the procedure.
STEP 1: Medical images are taken and imported into ExcelsiusGPS®.
STEP 2: Your surgeon plans the size and placement of pedicle screws based on your medical images.
STEP 3: The plan is used to guide the robotic arm to the surgeon’s planned pathway, similar to a planned route on your car GPS.
STEP 4: The pathway or route is used to accurately place screws using navigated tools. The surgeon can see the surgical tools and your implant on the screen through the whole procedure.
A minimally invasive procedure typically allows patients to get out of bed the day of the surgery and may be discharged the day after surgery. Many patients will notice improvement of some or all of their symptoms and pain from surgery may diminish between 2 to 4 weeks after surgery. However, recovery time varies between patients. It is the surgeon’s goal for the patient to eventually return to his/her pre-operative activities. A positive attitude, reasonable expectations and compliance with your doctor’s post-surgery instruction may all contribute to a satisfactory outcome.
Bringing robotic spine surgery to Western North Carolina shows the commitment of our organization in being a leader in comprehensive orthopedic care. Surgery may or may not be the appropriate treatment for certain spine conditions. Offering robot-assisted spine surgery continues our mission to offer patients the most advanced treatments available. It truly is a collaborative effort across multiple specialties. By working together, we are able to advance the field of spinal care for all of our patients.