Providence Alaska Medical Center adds two innovative treatment systems that enhance patient care

December 29, 2022 Providence News Team


Biplane imaging, robotic guidance for spine surgeries will
improve patient outcomes, reduce recovery time

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Neuroscience Center of Excellence and Surgical Services at Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC) has added two innovative technologies that will enhance patient care and ensure more Alaskans can receive the care they need close to home. This is possible in part because of generous donors to Providence Alaska Foundation. 

The new biplane imaging system uses two cameras to capture X-ray images from two different sides of a patient at the same time. These images identify the exact location of the problem so surgeons can provide lifesaving care.

Both the biplane X-rays and surgery can be performed in the hospital’s new hybrid operating room. The first in Alaska, the hybrid OR allows clinicians to conduct a variety of surgical services in one place. This includes both traditional and minimally invasive heart and brain surgeries.

“This treatment is performed in a high-quality, safe, patient-centered way,” said Sarah Skeel, executive director of Surgical and Procedural Services at PAMC. “Adding this innovative technology to our hospital is part of our commitment to Alaskans, ensuring they can receive the best care available as close to home as possible.”

The Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic guidance platform uses advanced surgical planning software and an automated robotic arm. This technology allows surgeons to perform spinal procedures with greater precision. Before the operation, a surgery plan is entered into the system. During the surgery, the robotic arm holds the surgical instruments to help guide the surgeon through the procedure.

“Robotic guidance assists our surgeons in the treatment of many spine conditions, including herniated discs, artificial disc placement, osteoporosis, and many other spinal deformities,” said Gian Hembrador, director of Surgical Services at PAMC. “This precise, minimally invasive surgery leads to better patient outcomes and reduces recovery time.”

Investing in the health of Alaskans by adding innovative treatment options is nothing new to Providence, which was also the first hospital in the state to provide Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) in 2015.

“By incorporating these life-saving technologies into the services we offer, Providence continues to advance our Neuroscience Center of Excellence and Surgical Services programs, transforming care to provide an innovative operating room experience to our patients and partners,” said Ella Goss, MSN, RN, chief executive, Providence Alaska. “In the past, many Alaskans had to leave the state to receive whole-person care, resulting in travel and separation from family and friends who would have otherwise been able to be at their side to help with healing.”

“Our ability to treat patients in the right setting means they spend less time in the hospital, are at lower risk of infection and heal more quickly – all of which lead to higher quality care and greater value,” she added.

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