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Neurosurgery News

OU Medicine Expands Array of Services With Robotic Spine Surgery


Published: Monday, February 24, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY -- OU Medical Center at OU Medicine has become the first hospital in Oklahoma to offer robotic spine surgery. The advanced technology allows for the precise placement of spinal hardware during complex spinal operations.

“The capacity to perform robotic spine surgery is another advance in the level of care available to Oklahomans and patients in the surrounding region,” explained Ian Dunn, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Dunn was instrumental in bringing this technology to OU Medicine. “This technology improves safety in the operating room and enhances patient outcomes.”

In addition to the newly available technology, Neurosurgeon Zachary Smith, M.D., recently joined the faculty. Smith has specific experience in minimally invasive spine surgery.

Smith completed fellowship training in minimally invasive techniques and complex spine surgery at McGaw Medical Center-Northwestern University, Chicago, and completed his residency at the University of California-Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, where he also earned his medical degree.

Smith is a strong advocate for robotics technology. “Robotics bring greater precision to surgery,” he said. “This technology makes it possible to plan procedures in minute detail, well before stepping into the operating room. In this way, we reduce risks related to the procedure and ensure high-quality care. We look forward to bringing this technology to our comprehensive neurosurgical and orthopedic spine team.”  

In addition to greater precision, robotic-assisted surgeries are minimally invasive, meaning shorter recovery time for patients. “The goal of every surgery is to return people to the places and activities they care about,” said Smith. 

Robotic assistance in spine surgery complements the well-established use of robotics at OU Medicine in specialties including, but not limited to urology, pulmonology, oncology and general surgery.