TD donates $1 million for surgical robot at QEII
December 21, 2022
HALIFAX – The QEII Foundation announced a $1-million donation from TD Bank Group (TD) to support Atlantic Canada’s first orthopaedic surgical robot at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The Mako SmartRobotics system – a robotic arm controlled by a surgeon during hip and knee surgeries – is advancing orthopaedic surgeries and providing better patient outcomes. The funding from TD marks the Bank’s largest single donation to date supporting healthcare in Atlantic Canada.
TD’s investment is a significant step toward financing the $2.5-million project, which will be fully donor-funded by the QEII Foundation and its We Are campaign. The Mako SmartRobotics system has been used in orthopaedic surgeries since last fall when it arrived at the QEII, making it home to the second surgical robot of its kind in Canada.
“Having this piece of technology will revolutionize the way we provide orthopaedic care for Nova Scotians. For the first time, using this surgical robot, we’re able to investigate and precisely replace a joint that is tailored to the patient, by being able to adapt the surgical plan based on their unique skeletal shape and soft tissue envelope. Paired with our research study, what we learn will benefit many people in the future. We are grateful to TD for their generosity and leadership in supporting orthopaedic surgical robotics,” said Dr. Michael Dunbar (pictured), an orthopaedic surgeon at the QEII and professor of surgery (orthopaedics), Dalhousie University
The robot allows for unique, case-by-case surgery, accounting for the patient’s specific anatomy. It changes both the pre-surgery planning process, and the surgery itself. The robot allows for a joint implant to be positioned more precisely than with the human eye, making orthopaedic surgery more personalized and effective.
The customized approach to each surgery can positively impact patient outcomes. With the precision of the orthopaedic robot, patients can experience less bleeding, less pain, less soft tissue trauma and shorter recovery times.
A team of QEII, Nova Scotia Health and Dalhousie University experts are conducting critical research to validate the efficacy of robotics in hip and knee surgeries. The long-term goal is to broadly offer better, more personalized surgery for Nova Scotians and to lead innovations in robotic arthroplasty globally. This research is being led by Dr. Dunbar, alongside fellow QEII orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Glen Richardson, and Dr. Janie Wilson, professor and director of the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University.
In addition to donor funding, the acquisition of this ground-breaking technology was made possible through Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Hub, collaborating with the organization’s orthopaedic surgeon leads and Stryker – an industry partner and one of the world’s leading medical technology companies – to secure the Mako System.
Since the arrival of the Mako SmartRobotics system in fall 2021, the robotics team has been phased into the QEII’s orthopaedic’s schedule. As of November 2022, dozens of surgeries have been performed using the ortho robot.
Mako SmartRobotics by Stryker is a system that combines CT-based 3D images with haptic technology to guide surgical cuts that are more precise than what the human hand can offer. Haptic technology acts as ‘guardrails’ during the procedure – the surgical cuts are pre-planned, and the system shuts off if the surgeon moves the robot beyond the planned cut.
Hip and knee replacement surgeries are some of the most developed surgeries in the world. Traditional surgery continues to be an excellent option for patients. The robotics technology is simply evolving these surgeries to the next level of excellence.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre is now home to four surgical robots, two of which are fully donor-funded by the QEII Foundation. The QEII is continuing to expand surgical robotics, building on its reputation for innovation and excellence and establishing it as a Canadian leader in innovative surgical robotics, research and care.