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News & Trends - Medical Technology

Latest surgical robotics to benefit Aussie patients

Health Industry Hub | June 2, 2021 |
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MedTech News: The arrival of two new medical robots have improved access to advanced surgical treatments for many patients living in the West Moreton region in Queensland.

Intuitive’s da Vinci Xi, supplied by Device Technologies, and Zimmer’s Rosa devices at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital will initially be used for urology and orthopaedic procedures, and then other surgical specialties in the future. 

“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,” CEO Claire Thurwood said.

The new devices follow the introduction of augmented reality-based technology for total knee replacements at the South-East Queensland hospital in September 2020. 

“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 added.

Urologist Dr Jonathan Chambers said having the da Vinci robot in Ipswich was “a great achievement for the community”. 

“It allows us to perform minimally-invasive procedures and offer patients faster recovery times and outcomes,” he said. 

Fellow urologist Dr Hee Soo Teng said the da Vinci Xi allowed much greater access to parts of a patient’s body. 

“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 is performing total knee replacements with the Rosa robot, and 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,” he said. 

“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.” 

Fellow orthopaedic surgeon Dr Angus Moxon said the hospital could now offer knee-replacement patients the latest technology and the best possible outcomes. 

“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,” he said. 


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