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MGMC debuts rare robot for spinal surgery

A new surgery-performing robot

at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is designed to help return patients to active lifestyles sooner than ever. The SpineAssist surgical robot at MGMC is one of only seven in the country, and the only one in Arizona. MGMC officials say SpineAssist is the first robotic surgical device designed specifically to operate on the spine, providing more accuracy and less invasive surgeries. Dr. Terrence Crowder, the only

physician in Arizona trained to perform surgeries using Mercy Gilbert’s SpineAssist, reports great success. “The accuracy rate of surgeries using the SpineAssist is 98 percent, as opposed to traditional surgical methods,” Crowder says, quoting statistics reported Dec. 28, 2010 by “It’s all about the precision in this robot. If you were having surgery on your spine, wouldn’t you want the most accurate surgery possible?” Before entering the operating room,

surgeons are able to use what the robot’s manufacturer, Mazor Robotics, has called a “flight simulator.” Using it maps out the patient’s spinal anatomy,

enabling the robot to more accurately place screws and incisions. During surgery, SpineAssist guides the surgeon, who performs the procedure manually with the aid of a robotic arm. According to a MGMC, “the

system has been scientifically proven to increase the accuracy of spinal implants and significantly lower rates of misplaced screws and neurological deficits. For patients, this translates to fewer complications and revisions; and the minimally invasive technique contributes to faster recovery, with less pain and scarring.” In addition, use of the robot in surgery

results in less radiation exposure for the patient, surgeon and operating room team. Mazor Robotics reports the use of the

robots reduced patients’ hospital stay by a third and resulted in a 70% reduction in misplaced spinal implants. The device is primarily used to attach implants to the spine, as in spinal fusions to correct scoliosis.

MGMC is located at the intersection

of Val Vista Drive and Loop 202, south of Pecos Road and east of Val Vista Drive. For more information, visit www. or call 480-728-8000.


changes during construction Honored for more patient satisfaction

Entrances to Chandler Regional Medical Center’s main and emergency- department entrances will be temporarily relocated through October 2014 to complete the expansion of Tower C. The Frye Road entrance to the

hospital, 1955 W. Frye Road, which is closest to Pennington Road, will be closed. Instead, patients, visitors and emergency-medical vehicles will only have access at certain locations like off of Pennington, Fairview or at Dobson and Elgin roads. “We understand that this is a big

change,” says Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. “When complete, Tower C will benefit the community as we expand our facilities and continue to provide exceptional care and services.” Construction began on the $125 million expansion last December. The new tower will add 96 in-patient beds, bringing CRMC’s total bed count to 339. The project will also add six operating suites and expand the emergency department. It will include a new chapel,

dining area, second helipad and 275 new parking spaces. Nearly 200 jobs will result from this project.

Satisfied patients

Chandler Regional Medical Center is the Outcomes Achievement winner in Patient Satisfaction for 2012 as part of an awards program sponsored by the GetWellNetwork. CRMC uses GetWellNetwork to

entertain, educate and improve communication with patients throughout their hospital stay by using the bedside television, realizing a 24% increase in patient satisfaction from staff responsiveness and a 12.8% increase based on medication teaching. The network prompts patients to

answer questions about their course of treatment to gauge comprehension and updates their medical records accordingly. Patients also have access to TV programs, movies and Internet, and may communicate with staff about pain management or ask questions about their treatment. For more information, visit

Access to CRMC

June 2 - 15, 2012



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