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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hosts Australian Neurosurgeon to show off new Robotic Spine Surgery



Little Rock, Arkansas – According to a news release, Professor Greg Malham, BSc, MB ChB, director of spine surgery at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, visited the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as the first foreign surgeon to observe a procedure using an avant-garde method for minimally invasive spine surgery.

One of Australia’s top spinal surgeons, Malham holds academic positions as professor of surgery at the University of Melbourne and professor of spine surgery research at Swinburne University.

According to UAMS, Malham watched a prone lateral lumbar fusion that was carried out using the ExcelsiusGPS robotic navigation platform during his visit on October 19.

UAMS has welcomed surgeons from all over the country as a spinal robotics training and observation location for this technique.

The procedure is typically carried out with the patient lying on his or her side, according to Noojan Kazemi, M.D., a spine surgeon and associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery. However, Kazemi claimed that UAMS was one of the first medical facilities to use robotic technology for prone lateral surgery.

In order to perform the treatment on a prone patient, computer-assisted navigation was developed by UAMS in collaboration with Globus Medical Inc., a medical equipment business with headquarters in Pennsylvania.

“It’s definitely a major advancement in minimally invasive spine surgery,” Kazemi said.

A GPS-like guide provided by the robotic navigation ensures that the surgeon is performing surgery at the proper location.

According to Kazemi, this significantly minimizes X-ray exposure for both the patient and the medical team.

“We at UAMS were the very first to apply the technology of the robotic navigation platform and patient positioner to this new surgical technique,” he said. “With minimally invasive techniques, we are able to minimize blood loss in the operating room, shorten our patients’ stays in the hospital, and get them back to their daily lives much faster.”

Malham stated that the techniques he saw during his visit will be useful for his work at home.

“Not having to alter a person’s position during surgery is very efficient and very good for the patient,” Malham said. “It was wonderful seeing Dr. Kazemi show his expertise and his technique.”

This surgical development, in Kazemi’s opinion, demonstrates UAMS’ dedication to providing Arkansans with the most modern tools and methods for spine surgeries.

“And as a result, we have surgeons from around the country and the world coming here to learn,” Kazemi said.


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