February 13, 2018

Saint Anne’s Hospital launches state’s first navigation-guided, robotic-assisted spine surgery program

Fall River, Mass. – For patients with spine conditions such degenerative disk disease, fracture, or spinal stenosis, there’s good news: Saint Anne’s Hospital has become the first hospital in Massachusetts to launch advanced navigation-guided, robotic-assisted technology for spine surgery.

What is navigation-guided, robotic-assisted technology for spine surgery?

The Globus ExcelsiusGPSTM system uses robotics and a sophisticated navigation system, similar to that in a car, to guide the surgeon in performing spinal procedures.

Prior to surgery, images are taken and fed into the system to create a “map” of the patient’s anatomy. During surgery, this map and live pictures act as a guide in helping the surgeon maneuver a rigid robotic arm to the exact location for precisely placed implants.

First in robotic-assisted spine care in the Greater Fall River-New Bedford region

Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2017, the Globus ExcelsiusGPS is the first navigation-guided, robotic-assisted surgical spine system in Massachusetts. In addition, Dr. Charles Kanaly, medical director of Saint Anne’s Hospital’s Spine Center, is the first neurosurgeon in Massachusetts to use the ExcelsiusGPS system for spine procedures.

Dr. Kanaly performed the first ExcelsiusGPS spinal fusion procedures in December. Spinal fusion joins two or more vertebrae into a single structure to prevent movement between the two bones, thus preventing back pain.

Dr. Charles Kanaly

He notes that the guidance and navigation system has a number of advantages for patients.

“It is minimally invasive, which allows the surgeon to use much smaller incisions along the spine,” said Dr. Kanaly. “This means less post-surgical pain, less scarring, less blood loss, fewer complications, and faster recovery.”

Dr. Kanaly also explained that, thanks to detailed pre-surgical “mapping,” the technology’s GPS navigation system, and an ultra-steady robotic arm guided by the surgeon, it is also more precise.

“The guidance system incorporates CT imaging before surgery, as well as CT imaging and fluoroscopy during surgery that allows accurate, real-time images,” said Dr. Kanaly. “There’s less exposure to radiation, less blood loss, and less tissue damage. All of this means we can spend less time in the operating room and help patients enjoy a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and faster return to doing what they love.”

Other robotic-assisted surgery at Saint Anne’s Hospital

In addition to robotic-assisted spine surgery, Saint Anne’s Hospital offers da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery for general surgical and specialized procedures such as hernia repair, colorectal, urology, and gynecology surgery.

Saint Anne’s also was the first in Massachusetts to offer robotic-assisted MAKO partial knee replacement surgery in 2011, followed by MAKO total hip replacement in 2012. The hospital will expand its MAKO capabilities in March with the addition of MAKO for total knee replacement.  To date, more than 700 MAKO procedures have been performed.

About Saint Anne’s Hospital

Founded by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation in 1906, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a full-service, acute care Catholic hospital with 211 beds and satellite locations in Attleboro, Swansea, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Stoughton, Massachusetts.

A member of Steward Health Care, Saint Anne’s provides nationally recognized patient- and family-centered inpatient care (including all private rooms) and outpatient clinical services to patients from surrounding Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities.

In addition to comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical, and emergency services, Saint Anne’s key services include Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center; the Joint Commission-certified Center for Orthopedic Excellence; ambulatory surgery centers in Attleboro and Dartmouth; the Center for Pain Management in Swansea and Dartmouth; and inpatient geriatric psychiatry services in Fall River and Stoughton.