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Mako Robot improving hospital efficiency

Thursday, 24 August 2023

A ROBOTIC surgery aid is improving the precision of knee and hip replacements at Barwon Health, resulting in faster recoveries and shorter hospital stays.

The Mako Robot allows for an innovative procedure that helps orthopaedic surgeons perform joint replacement surgery with greater precision and safety, by combining 3D CT-based planning software with haptic technology and data analytics. These high-tech features make the surgery more accurate and predictable, leading to better results for patients.

Mako Robotic-Arm assisted surgeries begin with a CT scan to create a detailed 3D virtual model of the knee or hip joint from multiple angles, without the need for invasive surgical procedures.

This allows surgeons to design highly personalised and intricate surgical plans before placing the implant with the precision made possible by the Mako Robot.

Barwon Health surgeon Mike Galvin said the robotic procedure allowed him to implant a knee or hip replacement with much more accuracy, leading to health benefits for patients.

“The Mako Robot assists with the implantation of the hip or knee replacement, which means I can operate at a faster rate with greater precision,” he said.

“Customising the position of the implants based on the patient’s anatomy makes it possible to place a patient-specific joint replacement. It’s shown to result in a faster recovery and shorter hospital stay for knee surgeries, while hip replacements have a reduced risk of having a leg length discrepancy or dislocation.

“The data shows this procedure has the potential to reduce hospital length of stay, which improves hospital efficiency.”

Mr Galvin said surgeons were excited to offer the technology to public patients, as the treatment had previously been limited to the private system.

“This is really exciting for Barwon Health, as we are the first regional public hospital in Victoria to have one and it’s really exciting that this service can be offered in the public system.

“There is training underway for all surgeons to be able to do it, with several of us who learnt to use it in private practice.”