Lovelace uses new robot to help with orthopedic surgeries

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Lovelace Medical Center and the Westside Hospital have a new “hip” robot, literally.

Lovelace is the proud owner of the only Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics in Albuquerque. It’s a robot used for knee and hip replacements.

Dr. Patrick Gilligan, Dr. Chris Hanosh and Dr. Jay Wojcik are all orthopedic surgeons that love their new toy.

"Part of the art of hip and knee surgery, or any surgery, is to minimize the amount of harm we do and maximize the amount of benefits,” said Dr. Hanosh.

"With this robot, we obtain a CT scan first, so that allows us to see the joint 3-dimensionally. And then when we’re in surgery, we can also incorporate some data from the patient’s anatomy called ‘their balance,’” said Dr. Wojcik.

The robot’s arm helps deliver precise cuts.

"If we are doing traditional instrumentation, sometimes we need to expose more of the patient’s anatomy, which is stripping more soft tissue, so we can protect it. With the robot, we can set a haptic, a safe zone, so that the robot will not let us exit that zone and damage a ligament, a nerve or blood vessel,” said Dr. Hanosh.

That means patients can have a faster recovery time and reduced chances of returning to the surgery room.

"It is a major surgery still, so we don’t promise the moon, but what we’re looking for with this precision is that we can get in a position that this is going to last as long as it can and we won’t have to — hopefully — won’t ever have to do more than we need to do in terms of other surgeries,” said Dr. Glligan.

If anyone wants to find out if they’re a candidate, they can call (505) 727-2727 or click here.