Q&A: How New Technology Helps a Skilled Spine Surgeon

April 23, 2024 Providence News Team

Dr. Remi Ajiboye recently joined with a new partner, the state-of-the-art ExcelsiusGPS robotic navigation system. Here he talks about how it gives him an edge in patient care.

Remi Ajiboye, MD, a Providence Little Company of Mary orthopedic surgeon, specializes in spinal surgery, including both minimally invasive procedures and complex spinal reconstruction. Dr. Ajiboye recently welcomed a new robotic helper, the Globus ExcelsiusGPS. Little Company of Mary is the only hospital in the South Bay that offers this cutting-edge technology,” he notes. From a patient’s point of view, he says, “Excelsius improves the accuracy and safety of spine surgery and helps to minimize complications.

What’s a workweek like for you as a spine surgeon?

My typical week is split between the clinic and the operating room. Three days a week I see patients for new consultations, surgical consultations and follow-up visits, and I spend the remaining two days in the operating room.

How long does each surgery take?

The minimally invasive spine surgeries range from 30 minutes to two hours. That’s by far the most common type of surgery that I perform. The complex spinal reconstructions for conditions like scoliosis or kyphosis, or revisions of previous surgeries, can take four hours or more.

What does the minimally invasive surgery fix?

The most common reason for spinal surgery is to take pressure off a severely compressed nerve, which we call stenosis. Patients with severe stenosis typically present with radiating or shooting pain, numbness or tingling down into their arms or legs. It’s important to remove pressure from a severely compressed nerve to prevent permanent damage that can lead to weakness or loss of function.

So what is the operation you perform?

Depending on the location of the nerve compression, I perform decompression surgeries such as discectomy or laminectomy. I also perform surgeries such as artificial disc replacements that allow for preservation of motion in the spine. And I perform fusion surgeries using minimally invasive techniques through very small incisions that minimize risks of complications and allow for a faster recovery.

How has the ExcelsiusGPS system helped you?

The Globus ExcelsiusGPS is a computer-assisted robotic navigation system. It allows us to perform a spine surgery in a very precise fashion. I’m talking about within one millimeter of accuracy in terms of the placement of screws and instrumentation into the spine. In the spine, a millimeter can be the difference between a surgery with an excellent outcome versus a poor outcome.

What aspects of surgery has Excelsius made better, and why?

From a patient safety standpoint, it makes surgery more efficient and allows for precise placement of the instrumentation such as screws in a safe manner. It also helps with minimizing complications such as bleeding and infection, because you’re placing these screws through small incisions rather than a big open incision.

Are there other robotic systems that would be suitable for your use?

There are other robotics systems on the market, but this is by far the most advanced and well-rounded robotic spine technology. This is simply the best!

Where do you think robot-assisted surgery will go in the future?

I think years from now the robotic technology will advance to the point where spine surgeries can be performed fully remotely, where the surgeon is sitting in the corner of the room—or even another location. There’s a lot of potential for this technology. I am very appreciative that Providence Little Company of Mary has invested in an advanced technology like this in order to bring cutting-edge spine care to patients in the South Bay. The future is bright!

For more information on Providence Little Company of Mary hospitals, call 844-925-0942.

About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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