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COVER STORY


Trends in ASC Robotics


The market appears primed to experience rapid growth BY ROBERT KURTZ


I


n early January, Sovereign Health- care’s North Valley Surgery Center


received its robot. Less than a week later, the Scottsdale, Arizona, ASC per- formed its first cases using the ortho- pedic surgical system. Andrea Lessner, RN, North Valley’s outpatient total joint coordinator, expects the technol- ogy to help the ASC achieve its objec- tive of doubling the number of joint replacement procedures performed this year compared to 2018. “Traditionally, only hospitals had


robots,” says Lessner, who collabo- rates on her ASC’s robotics program with HonorHealth, the center’s hospital partner. “But the landscape is quickly changing.” There is a huge market shift underway that is seeing more complex procedures primarily performed in the inpatient setting, such as total joint replacements, coming to the ASC, she


says. Surgery centers are no longer just the site for simple cases with small set- ups. “We can do more complex cases cost-effectively, efficiently and with better outcomes—even more so when supported by advanced technology like robots.”


ASCs are logical settings for robots, says Monica Hon, vice president and director of client solutions for The Advis Group in Mokena, Illinois. “Robotics have proven to be valuable with less invasive surgeries needing a very steady hand and high precision. Although it is quite an investment, the reduction of sur- gical costs, improved recovery time and outcomes by the use of these robotics justify the high cost of implementation.” The key to implementing this technol- ogy is to have the necessary capital and the right kind of surgeries to optimize its transition into the continuum of care.


Building Momentum Bobby Bhasker-Rao, MD, a general and bariatric surgeon who performs robotic bariatric procedures at multi- ple miVIP Surgery Centers locations in southern California, says he senses a significant buzz among surgeons con- cerning robotics in ASCs. “The ability of a robot to expand a surgeon’s capa- bilities is driving adoption and greater consideration by surgeons. A robot allows you to perform complex proce- dures safer and more precisely. When an ASC purchases a robot, transition- ing more complex cases into the center makes a lot of sense.” Robotics vendors are taking an increased interest in ASCs, Lessner says. “These companies are catering to surgery centers more than ever. They not only recognize the potential to expand their client base but acknowl- edge that the fast and efficient ASC environment is an optimal setting for the use of their technology.”


Above and right: Bertrand Kaper, MD, performing robotic total knee arthroplasty at North Valley Surgery Center. PHOTO CREDIT: NORTH VALLEY SURGERY CENTER


12 ASC FOCUS JUNE/JULY 2019 | ascfocus.org


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