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  • Mariana Bouchan

Revolutionizing Healthcare: UC Davis Health Pioneers Cutting-Edge Robotic Neurosurgery Program


Robotic innovation in medicine has emerged as a pivotal advancement, revolutionizing patient care and surgical procedures by enhancing precision, improving outcomes, and expanding the scope of what is medically possible. In the early hours of 2022, Haytham Almunir was suddenly struck by a devastating stroke that left his hand paralyzed and his speech incoherent. It was later at UC Davis that the brilliant neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Waldau, unveiled the harsh reality: a carotid stenosis, an insidious artery condition obstructing essential blood flow to his brain. After weighing different options, Almunir consented to the urgent placement of a stent, which holds the artery open. This operation was novel—it was the first stent at UC Davis to be placed by a new endovascular robot. Robots offer critical advancements to the field of surgery; surgeons are optimistic that robotic surgery assistance can reduce the chance that patients return with complications post-surgery. Surgeons maneuvered the robot to navigate a write past constriction in the artery and open it in order to add the stent. Almunir surprisingly shared, “Once I knew about the robot, I felt even more confident in the quality of my surgical care.”

The introduction of robots to UC Davis transformed surgeries throughout the year. In November 2022, UC Davis Health introduced a robot to facilitate cranial procedures, including deep brain stimulation implants for conditions like Parkinson's disease. This marked an expansion of robotic technology, which was already being utilized for spinal surgeries and endovascular procedures. UC Davis Health is now leading the way by providing the first comprehensive robotic neurosurgery program in the region. These robotic tools are being integrated into a wide range of neurosurgical procedures for patients of all ages, from adults to children and even infants. These technological advancements in healthcare are promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in research, education, and patient care, with different departments coming together to enhance the quality of surgical services. Not only does robot implementation enhance surgeries, but it also facilitates the learning of neurosurgery residents. The addition of the first comprehensive robotic neurosurgery program at UC Davis ultimately reflects how technological development enhances patient care, physician education, and overall health outcomes. In this groundbreaking era of healthcare, robotic neurosurgery serves as a valuable partner to neurosurgeons, allowing for better care to patients than ever before.


Edited by: Sanjana Anand

Graphic Designed by: Acelo Worku


References

  1. Asche, K. (2023, June 4). UC Davis Health offers first comprehensive robotic neurosurgery program in the region. news. https://health.ucdavis.edu/news/headlines/uc-davis-health-offers-first-comprehensive-robotic-neurosurgery-program-in-the-region-/2023/02

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