Dr. Zachary Smith: Robotic spine surgery shortens hospital stays, improves precision

Angie Stewart -   Print  |

Zachary Smith, MD, recently left Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital to join the neurosurgery department and robotic spine surgery team at Oklahoma City-based OU Medicine.

Dr. Smith spoke to The Oklahoman about OU Medicine's new robotic spine surgery program. Three takeaways he shared:

1. On OU Medicine's approach to robotics: "You want to be somewhere that is excited about new techniques like robotic spine surgery. … We are lucky to have a department chair who wants OU Neurosurgery to be a national leader. It's exciting on the teaching level that our students get exposure to these new techniques."

2. On the concept of robotic spine surgery: "While the robot arm guides the surgeon, it does not touch the patient. You go through all the steps a surgeon would be doing without the robot. It just provides precision."

3. On the objective of robotics: "The goal is to make sure major surgeries don't lead to long hospital stays. Robotic spine surgery makes this even more achievable with less pain, fewer narcotics, reduced infection and a shorter hospital stay. … Minimally invasive procedures reduce recovery times. The goal of robotics is to make sure we have fewer complications."

More aticles on robotics:
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