Northside Continues Southeast Leadership in Exclusive Robotics Surgeries


Revolutionary robotics procedures are announced; Northside Hospital continues its preeminent role as Georgia’s technological and surgical healthcare provider

Northside Hospital Healthcare System continues to lead the Southeast in state-of-the-art surgical services with the introduction of three advanced robotic surgery technologies: The Magellan Robotic System, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System and the MAKOplasty surgical arm.

Northside Hospital is the first healthcare institution in the state of Georgia to utilize the groundbreaking Magellan Robotic System. The Magellan Robotic System, designed to perform a myriad minimally invasive endovascular procedures, will be available at both Atlanta and Forsyth campuses.  The first live procedure ever to be performed in Georgia will take place on Oct. 21 at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

“This technology will grant an unprecedented level of precision to Northside vascular surgeons navigating the extremely complex anatomy of peripheral blood vessels,” said Dr. Joseph Ricotta, chair, of vascular surgery & endovascular therapy at Northside Vascular Surgery and medical director of vascular services, Northside Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute and the lead Northside physician for the procedure. Dr. Ricotta also added that the Magellan Robotic System builds upon Northside’s longstanding expertise in surgical robotics and enables Northside Hospital to offer the broadest set of options with the most cutting-edge technologies for treatment of patients with vascular disease.”

The Magellan Robotic System is able to robotically shape endovascular catheters during the procedure, so that a single catheter may be used instead of exchanging for various pre-shaped catheters during the procedure.  Magellan Robotic Catheters can rotate 360 degrees, and bend 180 degrees in any direction.  This may lead to fewer catheter exchanges during the procedure, more predictable procedure times, and may help facilitate navigation through very complex anatomy, potentially leading to less radiation and contrast exposure, making the procedure safer for the patient.

Magellan allows doctors more control and precision while navigating catheters through small blood vessels in complex vascular procedures. This leads to higher procedural success rates and enables more patients to be treated by less invasive endovascular methods rather than open surgery. With the lead of Dr. Ricotta, Northside Hospital Healthcare System will be able to add this first-of-its-kind technology to its suite of robotic offerings.

The da Vinci Xi Surgical System, the latest version of the da Vinci robot, is already being utilized for complex procedures like partial nephrectomy (kidney removal). Dr. Scott Miller performed the first surgery with this device in Georgia on Oct. 1, 2014. The Xi is the newest iteration of the robotic system and comes with a whole suite of improved patient outcomes. The Xi provides multiple benefits like better visualization and multi-quadrant access (a boom overhead that gives the surgical team more room around the patient).

“The addition of the da Vinci Xi to Northside’s robotics portfolio highlights the institution’s continued commitment to providing patients with the best healthcare technology available,” said Dr. Scott Miller, medical director of Northside Hospital’s Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery Program.

The MAKOplasty procedure at Northside Hospital-Forsyth has helped to improve the surgical outcomes of patients requiring hip and partial knee replacements. Through 3D models, motion capture and real-time virtual views of the patient’s anatomy, doctors are able to provide more accurate fittings and ensure that post-procedure pain is reduced significantly for patients.

“MAKOplasty provides hip and partial knee replacement patients that qualify with a more appealing solution,” said Dr. Jon Minter, orthopeadic surgeon at Northside Total Joint Specialists and lead MAKOplasty physician. “The system allows surgeons to fine-tune the implant’s positioning and shape, making the most accurate joint replacements available and increasing patients’ mobility faster than ever before.”

All of these robotic systems help solidify Northside Hospital Healthcare System’s position as the hub for efficient and cutting edge procedures that are helping patients with the smallest amount of risk possible.  However, it’s not just the state-of-the-art technology that leads to better patient outcomes, but rather the training and level of expertise of the surgeon using it that is critical in the success of using robotic technology.  Many of the surgeons on staff at Northside are pioneers in laparoscopic surgery and are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in minimally invasive techniques, like robotic surgery.  Surgeons at Northside even train others from across the country on how to use this state-of-the-art technology.  Combined with the skill and experience of the operating room nurses and surgical technologists, this level of expertise is critical in giving patients excellent outcomes after treatment and quicker recoveries following robotic surgery.

“We are pleased to bring the Magellan Robotic System to our Advanced Robotic Surgery program,” says Vicki Barnett, director of surgical services, Northside Hospital. “The addition of this robot, as well as the daVinci and MAKOplasty, will help Northside continue to offer patients the best care possible using the most innovative technology available.”