The Surgery Center of Wasilla has become the first outpatient surgery center in the state of Alaska to invest in robotic-assisted total joint technology. A joint venture with Regent Surgical Health, the multi-specialty center is committed to expanding access to affordable healthcare in the growing Wasilla community, hub of the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley about 45 miles from Anchorage, Alaska.

The Surgery Center of Wasilla’s new Stryker Mako System, utilizes highly advanced robotic technology to transform the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy. Research suggests use of a robot during total joint replacement (TJR) surgery can dramatically improve patient outcomes for knee and hip replacement surgeries.

“With the robot, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Thomas Grissom, M.D., board president at the Surgery Center of Wasilla. “Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, surgeons can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across our center’s total knee, total hip and partial knee replacement procedures.”

Grissom says the technology helps orthopaedic surgeons decide the best components to use for the patient and manipulate them in a 3D environment before the surgery begins, to determine the best course of action. Once surgery begins, the robot helps identify any imbalance in real time, and guides the procedure to help keep the surgeon within a narrow zone of accuracy. That improved precision is key because imbalancing is the number one cause of patient dissatisfaction with knee and hip replacements.

“That improved accuracy results in better outcomes,” Grissom explains, “helping patients return to normal activity without pain. With the robot, surgeons will be able to place the components exactly where they want them every time.”

Demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements in the United States are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent.

“We are proud to be the first surgery center in the state of Alaska to offer this highly advanced robotic technology,” Grissom said. “Our management partners at Regent Surgical Health were helpful in sharing best practices as we explored possible options, and we are thrilled to expand total joint replacement services. The addition of Mako to our orthopaedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”