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State-of-the-art robotic technology arrives at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital

June 03, 2021

Ipswich residents can now access the latest robotic technology close to home thanks to the introduction of two new medical robots at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital.

The da Vinci Xi and Rosa robots will be used for urology and orthopaedic procedures and can be expanded to cover other surgical specialties in the future. 

St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Claire Thurwood, said it was wonderful to broaden the suite of surgical options for local patients. 

“We are determined to ensure our patients and surgeons have access to state-of-the-art technology and we’re passionate about investing in the latest equipment with the aim of improving patient outcomes,” Ms Thurwood said. 

“Previously patients needed to travel outside this district to access these robots, for example to Toowoomba or Brisbane, but now they can stay right here in Ipswich and recover from their procedures close to home.” 

Urologist Dr Johathan Chambers said he was thrilled to have the da Vinci robot locally. 

“Having the da Vinci robot at St Andrew’s here in Ipswich is just a great achievement for the community. It allows us to perform minimally invasive procedures and offer patients faster recovery times and outcomes,” Dr Chambers said. 

The da Vinci xi robot has been described as ‘an extension of the surgeon’s hand’, and fellow urologist Dr Hee Soo Teng said it allowed access to parts of a patient’s body he otherwise couldn’t reach. 

“Imagine that you have no tremor, no shaking of the hand, because the robot hand is very, very steady and can reach anywhere in a patient’s body that we couldn’t reach. The robot arm itself can turn three and half times whereas our hand can only turn about 70 or 80 degrees,” Dr Teng said. 

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Morgan was excited to be using the new Rosa robot for total knee replacements at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital. Later this year it will also be used for partial knee replacements and hip replacements. 

“The big difference with the Rosa robot is that we can evaluate the patient’s soft tissue envelope before we put the knee replacement components in. Previously we’ve had to put the implants in and then adjust the soft tissues to fit, now we can evaluate the soft tissues, evaluate the alignment, tell the robot what we want to achieve and we can achieve it,” Dr Morgan said. 

Fellow orthopaedic surgeon Dr Angus Moxon agreed the technology was great for Ipswich residents. 

“Here at St Andrew’s Private Ipswich we’ve got the latest, up to date technology to give us the best possible chance of doing the best possible knee replacement. We don’t want GPs referring to Brisbane because they don’t think we’ve got everything here - we are absolutely an equivalent with easier car parking and access,” Dr Moxon said. 

The new robots follow the introduction of augmented reality-based technology for total knee replacements at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital in September 2020. The NextAR TKA includes augmented reality glasses and an infrared tracking system to help improve efficiency and precision in total knee replacements.

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