Mater robotic system a step-change in knee surgery

21/Mar/2022     Mater Group

Patients are being given a new lease of life at Mater thanks to the latest advances in robotic-assisted surgery.

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane is the first hospital in Queensland to operate the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution — state-of the-art technology that supports surgeons performing total knee replacements.

The VELYS system eliminates the need for patients to undergo pre-op CT scans before robotic-assisted surgery thanks to its advanced real-time, infra-red optical tracking system, which allows surgeons to make high-precision, guided cuts during the procedure.

The system also helps surgeons to verify they have achieved the correct alignment and tension of soft tissues surrounding the patient’s new synthetic knee joint – and it can be swiftly moved between operating theatres in busy hospitals.

The technology also opens up new opportunities for orthopaedic surgeons at Mater to be involved in training which involves simulation in a virtual reality operating theatre.

Mater Health Executive Director Daniele Doyle said patients were benefiting from Mater’s ongoing commitment to providing its clinical teams with the latest technology.  

“This is an exciting time for robotic-assisted surgery technologies, particularly in the area of orthopaedic care,” Ms Doyle said.  

“Robotic-assisted procedures are generally less invasive and allow high surgical precision, which can mean faster recovery and fewer complications for our patients.

“Mater has a strategic vision for our orthopaedic services to become early adopters of technology and evidenced-based innovations.

“The VELYS system was only launched last year in the US and I’m thrilled that we are the first hospital in Queensland to offer this technology to patients at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane.”

Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is a new but rapidly-growing development in Australian orthopaedic care. Robotic assistance is associated with a lower rate of revision (corrective operations) compared to non-robotic assisted knee replacements.1 

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Cameron Cooke said he and several of his colleagues who work at the Mater Private Hospital Brisbane have performed over 10 total knee replacement surgeries using the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution. 

“The navigational component of the system allows the surgeon to get optimal implant positioning during surgery and the accuracy obtained has been exceptional,” Dr Cooke said.

“Surgeons always remain in control during a robotic-assisted procedure, but the technology gives us a huge helping hand in the operating theatre – and it’s changing the face of surgery forever.”

Beverley Crittenden, 81, underwent surgery with the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution this month after suffering arthritis for years.

Beverley could only walk very short distances before her operation, but now she is looking forward to getting back in her garden and to hitting the road again with husband Pat in their campervan. 

“Before the operation it was very hard for me to walk without falling or getting tired very quickly,” Beverley said.

“I can feel that my leg is much stronger now and that’s giving me more confidence on my feet.

“I love my plants so I’m looking forward to being in my garden again. And Pat is raring for us to go out in our campervan again – he’s already planned a trip to Sydney!”

1Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry 2021 Annual Report, p259


Image: Dr Cameron Cooke with the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution and Digital Surgery Specialist Nadia Brandon-Black at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane.

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