ROBOTIC SURGERY NEWS
Robot uses 3D modelling to reduce surgery
recovery time at Beleura Private Hospital
Robotic arm-assisted surgery is now available for patients undergoing partial and total knee replacement
surgery at Beleura Private Hospital on the Mornington Peninsula.
Robot saves life of 93-year-old grandmother
6 The Ramsay Way 2019 | 02
arrives at Pindara
A new robot has joined the ranks at Pindara
Private Hospital to assist surgeons in providing
minially-invasive procedures for patients.
The da Vinci Xi robot allows surgeons to operate through a
few small incisions, with the use of a 3D visual system and
tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate.
Surgeons have full control over the instruments
during procedures, which are operated by their own
Pindara Private Hospital’s Assistant Director of Clinical
Services, Tracey Clark said: “Pindara has other advanced
robotic systems, but this is our first true robot where
the surgeon sits behind a console separate from the
The da Vinci Xi was installed earlier this year and is
expected to be used during more than 300 procedures over
a range of specialities each year.
A urologist and bariatric surgeon are currently using the
new Da Vinci software, with plans to expand the service into
urogynaecology, ear, nose and throat surgery and colorectal
surgery in the coming months.
“The benefit of using this technology is that it allows
for increased accuracy for the surgeon and is minimally
invasive meaning less pain and decreased risk of infection
for patients,” Mrs Clark said.
Pindara Private Hospital is among some of the first in
Queensland who have invested in the latest da Vinci Xi
software, giving patients on the Gold Coast access to the
most advanced medical technology.
A 93-year-old Brisbane woman has become one of the oldest people in the world to undergo major robotic
bowel cancer surgery at Greenslopes Private Hospital.
Earlier this year, a tumour was found on the right side of Jean
Clark’s bowel during a colonoscopy.
Greenslopes Private Hospital colorectal surgeon Dr Joy
Chakraborty was brought in to talk to her about her options.
Dr Chakraborty said Mrs Clark was determined to have surgery.
“She said, ‘doc, I want to live for longer so I can spend more
time with my children and grandchildren’,” he said.
Dr Chakraborty said the woman was in good health for her
age and considered suitable to be put under anaesthetic.
“But we wanted to do something minimally invasive to
lessen her pain, improve her recovery and reduce the risk for
complications – so we decided to do it robotically,” he said.
Dr Chakraborty said Greenslopes Private Hospital’s robotic
surgical system, which he is using for more and more
procedures, enabled him to remove the cancer and
stitch the bowel back together without exposing her
to any major incisions.
“The technology that we now have, it makes the hairs on the
back of your neck stand up – it’s amazing,” he said.
The grandmother was walking around the ward within a day,
eating and drinking normally and had her bowel function
return to normal.
Dr Chakraborty said although people of her age had
undergone smaller robotic procedures before, bowel surgery
was a big operation.
“To walk away without pain is incredible,” he said.
Dr Chakraborty said robotic surgery was a game-changer
for anyone who needed a major bowel operation.
“They typically experience less pain, their recovery is faster
and because they leave hospital quicker, they have less
exposure to infections,” he said.
“The whole health care system also benefits because
it makes more beds available for other patients.”
The Mako system allows the surgeon to develop and refine an
individualised pre-operative plan through 3D modelling.
Beleura Private Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Dr Peter
Hamilton said: “The technology enhances surgical placement
of the prosthesis which ultimately means the best outcome for
the patient is achieved with faster postoperative recovery and
reduced postoperative pain.”
The robot constructs a 3D model using a pre-operative
CT scan and generates a plan around minute variations
in a patient’s anatomy.
When the surgeon prepares the bone for implant, the robotic
arm guides the surgeon within a pre-defined area, to ensure
placement accuracy, alignment of the implant and minimal
disruption of the soft tissue.
“When we start to see patients coming through for their post-operative
review at six weeks, I think we’re going
to see a big improvement in their mobility and less pain,”
Dr Hamilton said.
The Mako robotic arm assisted technology will also ensure
partial knee replace surgery is available to more patients, by
selectively targeting the damaged parts of the knee while
avoiding surrounding healthy bone and soft tissue.
Currently, fewer than 5% of patients who struggle with
degenerative knee disease will undergo a partial knee
replacement due to the procedure’s technical difficulty.
The new technology is expected to reduce the difficulty
of the procedure and could increase its availability by 10%.
“Moving forward there is a chance we could be doing partial
knee replacements as day procedures, compared to a four
or five day inpatient post-operative stay required after a total
knee replacement procedure,” Dr Hamilton said.
The Mornington Orthopaedics team at Beleura Private
Hospital underwent special training in Sydney to use the
The system is now available for patients who live on
the Mornington Peninsula undergoing their first knee
replacement. It is expected to be used for hip replacements
in the future.
Dr Peter Hamilton examines the new Mako system.
Courtesy of The Courier Mail: Director of Clinical Services Terry McLaren, colorectal surgeon Dr Joy Chakraborty, and patient Mrs Jean Clark.