Minimally Invasive and Robotic Spine Surgery
Stanford patients now have access to minimally-invasive spine surgery (MISS) treatments, pioneered at Stanford, for a variety of procedures, including fixing spinal deformities, treating traumatic fractures, and removing tumors. MISS takes advantage of recent advances in video endoscopy, intra-operative navigation, robotic assistance, and specially developed surgical instruments and spinal instrumentation. MISS techniques and the integration of robotics in spine surgery have resulted in shorter operating times, and have been shown to reduce pain and discomfort for patients.
Maintaining and improving mobility is one of our top priorities when choosing surgical treatment. In the past, disk fusion was the standard treatment for herniated disks, but has been found to significantly reduce range of motion post-surgery. We now offer Cervical Arthroplasty, more commonly known as Artificial Disk, an improved technology that allows for a greater range of motion and reduces the burden on surrounding tissue and bones. Additionally, using artificial disks instead of fusion has also been shown to improve long-term surgical outcomes and can significantly reduce the need for re-operation years down the road.
One of the greatest advantages of using 3-D technology during surgery, is the robot's ability use that technology to see what the human eye cannot. This allows the robot to alert the surgeon to any unforseen abnormalities, and enables surgeons to more accurately place instrumentation and more accurately perform the surgery itself. Furthermore, the robot can replicate the patient's position on the operating table, constantly assessing and adjusting for the spine's movements. This technology ensures that instrumentation is being placed in a safe way, avoiding critical neurologic structures and important blood vessels. Increased accuracy leads to less time in the operating room and better outcomes for patients.
In an effort to continually embrace the latest technologies and tools, our team of surgeons is now using robots in the operating room for a variety of procedures. The robotic systems allow us to combine very detailed preoperative imaging with an extraordinary amount of intraoperative accuracy, by taking 2-dimensional images and reconstructing an indivdual's spine in 3-D. In many cases these robots can see waht the human eye cannot, and can place surgical tools more safely and accurately. Additionally, using a robotic platform allows us to reduce the amount of intra-operative x-ray exposure to both the patient and the healthcare team, including the surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, thereby reducing the overall occupational hazard traditionally associated with using 2-D fluoroscopy for spine surgery. The integration of these tools means diagnostics and operations are quicker, less-invasive, safer, and more effective for our patients.