New robot is easing pain

Associate Professor Siva Chandrasekaran (left) with patient Grant ahead of the first knee replacement using Mako SmartRobotics at St Vincent's Private Hospital in Werribee. (supplied)

A new robot is providing a helping hand to surgeons replacing knees at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Werribee.

The long-anticipated arrival of the Mako SmartRobotics device took place at the hospital last week, and it’s already busy assisting with orthapedic surgeries.

Funded by well known philanthropist Alex Cilmi and his family, the Mako SmartRobotics enables orthopaedic surgeons to better tailor hip and knee replacements to their patients, resulting in less blood loss and reduced recovery time after surgery.

Speaking after its arrival last week, St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee’s Acting General Manager, Rachael Cassar, said the robot represented a big step forward for the hospital and healthcare in Wyndham.

“The staff and doctors at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee are excited with the arrival of Mako SmartRobotics and continuing to build on accessible healthcare in the West“ Ms Cassar said.

The honour of performing the first surgery with the new robot fell to Associate Professor Siva Chandrasekaran. Alongside a team who had already undergone specialised training to operate Mako SmartRobotics, Associate Professor Chandrasekaran performed a knee replacement with it on Wednesday October 25 and noticed the difference.

“We completed our first case yesterday in 45 minutes with great success,” he said.

“It is a privilege to work at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee, which is at the forefront of delivering the best outcomes for patients.“

Mako SmartRobotics combines 3D CT-based planning and AccuStop haptic technology which enables surgeons to perform less intrusive surgeries and place implants and joint replacements more accurately.

Along with total and partial knee replacements, the device will also be used for hip replacement surgeries.

St Vincent’s Werribee has access to Mako SmartRobotics thanks in large part to a donation from Alex Cilmi.

A well known sponsor local sporting clubs in Wyndham, Mr Cilmi was able to extend his generosity to medical technology thanks to his success in business, something he attributes to support from his family.

“Without my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Mr Cilmi said.

“My family have supported me through the highs and lows, quite simply, they make me a better person.”