Mater robots revolutionise surgery in Mackay

04/Apr/2022     Robotic SurgeryTechnologies

Two new robotic surgical systems have arrived at Mater Private Hospital Mackay in a $2m investment set to change the face of orthopaedic surgery for patients across Central Queensland.

A further $7m is being invested to upgrade operating theatres at Mater Private Hospital Mackay, it was announced yesterday.

The Stryker Mako robot is the first of its kind in Mackay and improves precision for surgeons performing knee and hip replacements while the Zimmer-Biomet ROSA Knee System is used for patients requiring knee implants.

The new robotic systems ensure that Mackay orthopaedic patients suffering painful and debilitating orthopaedic conditions will no longer have to travel to Brisbane or elsewhere to receive state-of-the-art care.

Mater Private Hospital Mackay orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chris Wainwright said the Stryker Mako’s CT scanning function creates 3D images of each patient’s anatomy, which enables doctors to achieve greater precision during surgery and improves post-operative mobility for patients.

“The research coming out now shows patients who are operated on with robotic technology, such as the Stryker Mako, can be discharged from hospital more quickly and have an earlier return to function than if they have a more conventional knee replacement,” Dr Wainwright said.

“The Stryker Mako allows Mackay patients to have access to the latest technology, most reliable operations and better surgical outcomes without having to travel to Brisbane.”

Mackay patient Dale Redden, 71, of Andergrove, is now enjoying a new lease of life after she underwent one of the first Stryker Mako knee replacements to be performed at Mater Private Hospital Mackay.

“Before I had the surgery I couldn’t walk anywhere,” Mrs Redden said.

“My husband and I are very social people – we like to go out and see people and do things, and I wanted to be able to get back to doing that.

“On the day I had the surgery I was up standing afterwards, on a frame.”

Ms Redden said Mater’s new Stryker Mako system was a big win for Mackay patients like her.

“It’s wonderful having this surgery in Mackay because you’ve got the support of your family here. It’s just so much easier,” Mrs Redden said.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jonathan Smith said the new robotic systems had major benefits for both patients and Mackay’s medical community.

“The investment by the Mater in these surgical robots means that we can not only provide better care for patients locally, but we can also attract young surgeons to work in Mackay too,” Dr Smith said.

Mater Private Hospital Mackay Executive Officer Beth Thomas said the robotic technology, partly funded by donations to Mater Foundation, was part of a broader strategy for Mater to become a leader in the specialty of orthopaedics in the Central and North Queensland region.

She also said the operating theatre upgrade would ensure a contemporary, modern work environment for clinicians and patients.

“Robotics are the future of surgery and Mater is committed to continuing to provide Mackay patients with the most advanced healthcare available,” Mrs Thomas said.

She said a team of Mater nurses and orthopaedic surgeons had completed training programs for the new robotic surgical systems.

“The new technology also enables us to train local surgeons and nurses in the latest surgical robotic procedures, ensuring they can stay in our community to progress their careers and future-proof the local workforce,” Mrs Thomas said.

Mater Foundation Executive Officer Andrew Thomas said regional Queenslanders deserved equal access as their south east counterparts to the latest technology and surgical know-how.

“Mackay is a thriving region with a growing population and a community with evolving and changing healthcare needs,” Mr Thomas said.

“Mater Foundation will continue to provide vital equipment as well as healthcare services to regional hospitals across Queensland to ensure that every Queenslander, regardless of where they live, has access to the best possible healthcare.”

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