New Robotic-Assisted Surgical System at McLaren Caro Region

This Thanksgiving, Ginger Geissler is thankful for robots. A new robotic-assisted surgical system at McLaren Caro Region is putting knee surgery patients such as Geissler on the fast track to recovery.

McLaren Caro Region is the first hospital in Tuscola County to offer patients the advantages of robotic-assisted surgery with state-of-the-art OMNIBotics equipment. On Monday, November 18, Ginger Geissler ­became the first patient to benefit from the newest robotic technology available in this area.

Marc Augsburger, President and CEO for McLaren Caro Region stated, “We are very fortunate to be able to provide the most advanced, state-of-the-art robotic knee surgery for our patients. We continue to work hard every day to meet and exceed McLaren’s Mission Statement of ‘being the best value in health care as defined by quality outcomes and cost.’ ”

OMNIbiotics screen

Geissler, who works as a Housekeeper at McLaren Caro Region, can’t wait to get back on her feet after the successful knee surgery by Dr. Mark Stewart, orthopedic surgeon.

For over a year, Geissler’s right knee has caused pain with every step. “Honestly, I can’t really walk at all. It’s very, very hard to walk. I work in housekeeping, so all I do is walk, bend, stop, kneel … I’ve been doing it, but it’s been hard.”

Although the term “robotic-assisted surgery” may conjure black-and-white images of science-fiction movies, the reality is very different. Humans perform every surgery. Robotic technology merely assists, integrating easily into the tools available to surgeons.

Robotic surgeries were first performed in the 1980s. Since then, surgeons and manufacturers have worked together to leverage the power of the new technology in order to provide maximum benefit to patients. Today, robotic technology is available in most major cities but it is less common in rural areas.

On November 18, Dr. Stewart became the first surgeon to use the robotic system to create a custom plan perfectly suited for Geissler’s knee. The robotic surgery guided Dr. Stewart as he placed the implant and precisely aligned the tension in the surrounding ligaments and tissue. The end result is a faster recovery and less discomfort for Geissler.

“Robotic surgery gives surgeons a three-dimensional, high-definition view inside the patient’s body before surgery begins,” said Dr. Stewart.

“That information helps surgeons to study the anatomy of the knee and determine the precise placement of the implant to best serve each patient. With the help of advanced robotics, we see patients enjoy active lifestyles for years after surgery.”

Robotic-assisted surgery provides a number of advantages for patients, including:

  • Shorter hospitalizations
  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Faster recovery
  • Faster return to normal activities
  • Smaller incisions
  • Lower infection risk
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced blood loss

A quick recovery sounds good to Geissler. “Last summer, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t mow the lawn. I couldn’t do yardwork. Nothing. I just came home and sat. I’m looking forward to that changing.”

If you’d like to learn more about McLaren Caro Region’s orthopedic department or their OMNIBotics Knee Replacement surgery, please call (989) 673-1670.