CTV News: New surgical robot at the QEII hospital in Halifax the second of its kind in Canada

a healthcare team surrounds the orthopaedic surgical robot

Originally published on CTV News Atlantic.

HALIFAX - Halifax's QEII Health Sciences Centre is now home to a surgical robot that can perform hip and knee surgeries.

The innovative robotic arm, the second of its kind in Canada, is controlled by a surgeon during hip and knee surgeries using unprecedented precision for the placement of a joint implant.

Nova Scotia Health is planning to begin using the surgical robot later this fall.

The $2.5-million project will be fully funded by QEII Foundation donors, with the foundation actively raising funds to support the robot and the affiliated research.

For Dr. Michael Dunbar, it is a personal career highlight.

"Having this piece of technology will revolutionize the way we provide orthopedic care for Nova Scotians," said Dunbar in a release.

"For the first time, using this surgical robot, we're able to investigate and precisely replace a joint that is tailored to the patient." - Dr. Michael Dunbar

Nova Scotia Health says early research shows the robot offers many benefits to patients including less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays and more natural feeling movement after surgery.

The new technology is also believed to reduce the likelihood of a second surgery and may allow more patients to avoid a more invasive total knee replacement if a partial knee replacement is possible, says a release.

"Nova Scotians deserve more timely access to the hip and knee surgeries that can dramatically improve their quality of life. Surgical robots are another medical advancement we can use to improve outcomes for patients," said Michelle Thompson, minister of health and wellness.

This isn't the first time the QEII Health Sciences Centre has used a surgical robot.

In 2019, the hospital became the first location in Atlantic Canada with a surgical robot for urological and gynecological cancer surgeries.

The $8.1-million initiative was entirely funded by QEII Foundation donors and has since expanded to include ear, nose and throat (ENT) cancer surgeries.

In 2020, the hospital's neurosurgery division also became the first in Canada to use new robotic technology for brain surgery.