Westmead Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Westmead Private Hospital unveils NSW-first robotic surgical system

Jun 27, 2022

Australians suffering from complex spinal issues now have access to advanced, robotic-assisted surgery in Sydney, with Westmead Private Hospital unveiling New South Wales’s first so-called “Revolutionary Robotic Navigation Platform”.

The ExcelsiusGPS Robotic Navigation platform at Ramsay Health Care’s Westmead Private Hospital is just the second of its kind in Australia, with fellow-Ramsay facility Peninsula Private Hospital in Victoria housing Australia’s only other ExcelsiusGPS.

Head of Neurosurgery at Westmead Private Hospital, Dr Gordon Dandie, said the robot can be used for all forms of spinal surgery.

Its main application is the accurate insertion of instrumentation (screws and rods) into spinal bones to immobilise the spine and allow fusion of the bones to occur. It is also being used to assist with the insertion of interbody devices which sit between the spinal bones to hold them in the correct alignment as fusion occurs,” Dr Dandie said.

The robot uses a computerised navigation system which links the patient’s body position with scans of the spinal anatomy. The surgeon plans the position of the screws on the scans and the robot moves into a position that guides the screws into the patient’s body through small “keyhole” incisions.

“The robot navigation system means screws and rods can be accurately inserted into the spine with minimal disruption to the spinal muscles, as compared to traditional fusion methods which required dissecting the muscles away from the spinal bones to gain access for the screws. Using the robot is designed to result in less post-operative pain, less blood loss and a shorter stay in hospital.

“Potential benefits of using the robot can include more accurate placement of screws reducing the risk of nerve injury, less radiation exposure to staff as much less x-rays are required during the procedure and operations can be quicker reducing the overall risk to patients.”

Dr Dandie said this device is the next step forward in robotic technology and people will likely travel from around the state to access it.

“I do a clinic in Tamworth and see patients from all over the north west of the state. They are keen to utilise the benefits of this system for their treatment.”

Westmead Private Hospital CEO, Mike Flatley, said: “Ramsay Health Care and Westmead Private Hospital are committed to continued investment in technology to improve patient experience and outcomes.”

Dr Gordon Dandie and Dr Jun Kim performed the first surgeries using the device at Westmead Private Hospital. Additional surgeons will soon begin training on the device through the training program at Westmead Private Hospital.

The ExcelsiusGPS Robotic Navigation platform by Globus Medical is the first technology to combine a rigid robotic arm and full navigation capabilities for precise trajectory alignment in spine surgery.