Published on: 20th November 2019

Mazor spinal in theatre 12.11.19.PNGLast week, following a complex spinal procedure to correct scoliosis in a teenage girl, the RNOH became the first centre in the NHS to deliver Robotic Assisted Spinal Surgery (RASS) utilising  technology that is transforming the operating theatre.

The Mazor X Stealth EditionTM (MXSE) is the latest generation of robotic guidance platforms that assist surgeons with sophisticated real-time 3D imaging, advanced anatomy recognition and enhanced navigation that will increase patient safety and surgical precision.

RNOH will also become the first Reference Centre within Europe to train visiting surgical teams from around the globe in partnership with Medtronic Ltd, the manufacturer of the MXSE.

Mr Sean Molloy, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at the RNOH, said: “The MXSE affords us an unprecedented level of accuracy during spinal surgery. A surgical plan can be meticulously designed prior to the patient entering the operating theatre (just like one might enter a postcode into a satellite navigation system to plan a specific route). Once surgery is underway the robotic arm will assist our surgeons to guide precise placement of the spinal implants according to the pre-operative plan. Spinal surgery has well recognised neurological risks and by utilising the MXSE we will be able to perform safer surgery on our patients.”

The MXSE can be used for both open and minimally invasive procedures and is seen as an extension of the surgeon’s skills; supporting the surgeon throughout the procedure. The technology will be used in both paediatric and adult spinal surgical cases across a range of pathologies including spinal deformity, degenerative spinal disease, traumatic fracture fixation and in the management of spinal cancers.

Robotic Assisted Spinal Surgery will help surgeons to perform complex spinal procedures in a more minimally invasive way and may, as a result, potentially reduce the overall time patients have to stay in hospital. Owing to the increased accuracy of implant placement, it is expected that we will also seea reduction in the rate of revision spinal surgeries.

Enabling technologies in healthcare have been gaining significant traction due to improved safety profile and benefits for patients. The RNOH Spinal Surgical Unit Consultants have collectively committed to this strategic direction.

Techniques for Robotic Assisted Spinal Surgery have been in use for some time and there is good evidence and safety data to support this. RNOH will be the first centre in Europe to use the Mazor X robotic system in conjunction with ‘Stealth Edition’ navigation technology.

Rob Hurd, Chief Executive of the RNOH, said: “For decades the RNOH has been at the forefront of orthopaedic medicine in the UK and now, with the MXSE, it is maintaining that position as a centre for innovation. The RNOH is the first NHS Trust to deliver complex spinal surgery using this technology, a major step-change in how surgery will be carried out in the coming years not just here at the RNOH, but across the NHS.”

RNOH aims to deliver the best patient and staff experience in the NHS; our early adoption of enabling technologies will deliver an environment where our field leading surgeons can continue to pioneer surgical techniques and build great teams to deliver excellence in orthopaedic care.

The Spinal Surgical Unit at RNOH includes one of the largest Spinal Deformity Services in Europe. Referrals to this service come from throughout the UK and internationally, and the unit has a world-renowned reputation for its pioneering work. Specialist spinal surgeons treat a wide variety of patients with very complex problems. The RNOH is at the forefront of paediatric and adult spinal deformity surgery (scoliosis and kyphosis). Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine and the RNOH successfully treated HRH Princess Eugenie for this condition when she was 12 years old. It is expected that the MXSE will undertake its first scoliosis case in mid-November under the guidance of a highly trained RNOH surgical team.

Dr Lila Dinner, RNOH Medical Director, said “We are proud to be at the forefront of introducing innovative technology into the NHS for the benefit of some of our most complex patients. This is a marvellous example of the values we all share to ensure the NHS continues to provide world class care for all”.