Springfield Regional to use robotics to assist in spine, brain surgeries

Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Springfield Regional Medical Center is now home to advanced imaging robotic technology to treat patients needing neurosurgical or spinal procedures, and the hospital chain will be the first among the Midwest to offer this technology.

Loop-X, a circular mobile imaging robot produced by Germany-based company Brainlab, will allow Springfield surgeons to capture pictures of bony structures. The robot makes a three-dimensional design of the anatomy and can maneuver around a patient.

Staff will also be using another Brainlab tool: Cirq, a new robotic arm controlled by surgeons to guide them in their surgical steps. The system works in sync with other devices in the operating room, moving with the procedure and on the surgeon’s command.

The robotics technology is on site at the Springfield hospital, a Mercy Health spokesperson confirmed. Mercy Health providers are training with it now, and it should be used during patient cases before the end of the summer.

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Loop-X is a medical imaging tool produced by Brainlab and will soon be used by providers at Mercy Health - Springfield. Photo provided by Brainlab.

Loop-X is a medical imaging tool produced by Brainlab and will soon be used by providers at Mercy Health - Springfield. Photo provided by Brainlab.

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Loop-X is a medical imaging tool produced by Brainlab and will soon be used by providers at Mercy Health - Springfield. Photo provided by Brainlab.

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“We are proud to be the first in the Midwest to offer this new technology for spine and brain procedures,” said Chase Collins, Director of Neurosciences at Mercy Health - Springfield.

Using the new mobile imaging robot and robotic surgical hand provides many benefits compared to traditional surgeries, Springfield neurosurgeon Dr. Kamal Woods said.

With the technology, surgeries will be minimally invasive, resulting in a shorter expected recovery time, less postoperative pain and shorter hospital stays.

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Mercy Health - Springfield providers are also being trained to use Cirq, a robotic arm, to assist with surgeries. Photo provided by Brainlab.

Mercy Health - Springfield providers are also being trained to use Cirq, a robotic arm, to assist with surgeries. Photo provided by Brainlab.

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Mercy Health - Springfield providers are also being trained to use Cirq, a robotic arm, to assist with surgeries. Photo provided by Brainlab.

“It doesn’t replace our expertise or skill; it enhances them so that we can be more accurate and efficient in surgery, all with the goal of making the outcome for patients better,” Woods said.

Woods said back pain is among the top three reasons people see a physician.

“I always feel confident in saying that everybody either has back pain or knows somebody who has back pain. It’s that common,” he said.

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Springfield Regional Medical Center often sees patients on a weekly basis for compression fractures, which typically occur when someone who may have osteoporosis lifts something heavy, falls or twists in an uncomfortable position.

Woods said among the roughly 50 patients he sees on a weekly basis, cases of pinched nerves in their backs, cases of spinal stenosis (where the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord) and sciatica (pinching of the sciatic nerve) are common.

Woods expects the new technology will attract more patients to the hospital.

“I’m anticipating and hoping we will see patients come from the Greater Dayton market,” Woods said.

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