East Texas hospital unveils new surgery assisting technology

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - On Tuesday, the Baylor Scott and White Health Texas Spine and Joint Hospital unveiled their new piece of technology to the public.

Their newly acquired robotic arm will assist surgeons in total and partial join replacement procedure.

"He said he couldn't even do it that precisely," surgical patient Martha Ann Gibson said. "That talked me into it right there."

Three years ago, Gibson had her first knee replacement surgery and says the experience was filled with pain.

"They were having to hammer a piece of bone down into another piece of bone," Gibson said. "And that was scary enough, but it was painful from the very first day."

So now, when Gibson was faced with another surgery, Dr. Ken Kaminski suggested they use the hospital's new Mako robotic arm.

"The precision that I get with this is so much more improved than the traditional blocks," Dr. Kaminski said. "It's kind of a no-brainier if you're wanting to get perfect alignment and do it every time."

One of two doctors at the hospital certified to operate with the machine, Gibson was one of the first patients Dr. Kaminski operated on with the new technology.

But Gibson says she is happy with the decision to use the Mako machine, as she is finding much more relief the second time around.

"This time, they kept asking me 'do I need pain meds?' and I keep saying no, it's not hurting," Gibson said.

Doctors say the robotic arm allows them to personalize the patients operating plan and uses surgical targeting to help spare healthy bone and ligaments reducing recovery time.

"You're now changing how we're doing it with a precision that's never been there before," Dr. Kaminski said. "So think of it like an old flip phone and now you've moved over to an iPhone."

As for Gibson, there's one thing that's on her mind when she leaves the hospital.

"I'd love to go fishing," Gibson said.

The hospital is hosting a contest during which the public can name the robotic arm; they say right now the name Harry and Loyd from the movie Dumb and Dumber are in the lead.

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