Robotic surgery a first for private hospital

Dr Hugo Basson, seen here with long-time assistant, Sister Bernie McKenzie, performed robotics-assisted surgery on a female patient at N1 City Hospital on Monday March 27.

A revolutionary robotic knee surgery was performed at Netcare N1 City Hospital this week.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Hugo Basson performed the procedure on Monday March 27 – the first of its kind at a private hospital.

Dr Basson said the robotic unit helped to place the prosthesis perfectly according to the patient’s anatomy by allowing the surgeon to “mill a bed” for the prosthesis to lie in.

“This way, it fits into the bed on the cartilage and you do not lose any extra cartilage, even when it’s degenerative,” he said.

A media statement said the robotic unit relayed precise information about the patient’s knee to a robotics-assisted handpiece used by the surgeon.

It works in partnership with the surgeon’s skilled hands to achieve the precise positioning of the knee implant based on each patient’s unique anatomy.

This added level of accuracy could help improve the function, feel and potential longevity of the partial knee implant.

“Robotics is an outflow of CAS (computer-assisted surgery) and it is a bit more intricate. The learning curve is mainly about familiarity with the planning software and then using it efficiently intra-operatively to place the prosthesis accurately,” said Dr Basson.

He prepared for the procedure on Monday by practising beforehand on a cadaver at the Tygerberg Anatomy Department” just to iron out anything that could slow us down”.