Robotics Assisted Surgeries
A small number of surgeons at the QEII Health Sciences Centre offer some surgeries with the assistance of robotics technology.
Robotics-assisted surgery enables movements so tiny and precise that they would not be possible with the human hand alone. This can result in many benefits for patients and our health care system.
Nova Scotia Health is committed to using research and innovation to drive improvements to care and service delivery.
Research is underway to demonstrate the value and benefits of robotics-assisted surgery to patients and our health care system. These efforts could lead to the future expansion of surgical robotics to other surgical services and locations.
Some surgeons at the Victoria General or Halifax Infirmary sites of the QEII Health Science Centre may offer their patients the option of having certain types of surgeries completed with robotics-assistance.
How can I have my surgery with robotics-assistance?
Only a small number of surgeons are currently trained to offer robotics-assisted surgeries.
At this time robotics-assisted surgeries are only available at the QEII Health Science Centre in Halifax.
Most surgeries continued to be delivered without robotics-assistance, using proven surgical approaches and minimally-invasive surgery options wherever possible.
Nova Scotia Health teams are supporting research, which in time could lead to greater use of robotics technology to support surgical care at the QEII or other locations across the province.
It is important that patients make an informed choice about their surgery.
Your surgeon will discuss surgery options with you, including if they are able offer a robotics-assisted option for the surgery they are providing.
Benefits of robotics-assisted surgery
Robotics-assisted surgery enables movements so tiny and precise that they would not be possible with the human hand alone.
This results in many advantages for patients, including:
- shorter hospital stays and recovery times
- smaller incisions
- less damage to surrounding tissues and structures
- less risk of infection
- less blood loss
- reduced pain and reliance on medications after surgery, and
- quicker returns to work and normal activities.
There are also many benefits to the health care system including:
- reduced demands on hospital beds due to shorter lengths of stay or readmissions
- more efficient use of operating rooms and other surgical resources, including blood products and pain medications
Surgeries offered with robotics-assistance
There are currently several surgeons offering robotics-assisted surgeries for certain types of surgeries. These include:
- some prostate, kidney and gynecological cancer procedures, including prostatectomies, partial nephrectomies and hysterectomies
- some otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) cancer surgeries
- some neurosurgeries (brain), including brain biopsies (collection of small tissue samples) and placing electrodes in the brain for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes
Later this year some orthopedic surgeons will begin offering some partial and total knee replacement surgeries with robotics assistance.
Surgical robotics equipment supporting care
Three separate surgical robotics technologies are used to support robotics-assisted surgeries, including:
- da Vinci surgical robot - used to assist surgeons with some gyneceological, urological and ear nose and throat (ENT) cancer surgeries. (funded by QEII Health Sciences Centre donors)
- Medtronic Stealth AutoGuide TM robot technology - used to assist in some brain surgeries (Video 2:38)
A Stryker Mako surgical robot will be used to assist in some joint replacement surgeries by the end of 2021. (funded by QEII Health Sciences Centre donors)
Information for Health Care providers
A small number of surgeons at the QEII Health Sciences Centre are delivering some surgeries with robotics assistance.
The vast majority of surgeries continue to be provided using traditional methods which are known to be safe and effective.
As patients become more aware of robotics-assisted surgery options you may be asked to refer them to a particular surgeon.
Please continue to refer patients as you normally would.
Individual surgeons will advise patients of situations where robotics-assisted surgeries may be an option for their care.