In the Know

Revolutionary Robotic Navigation Platform for Spine Surgery Sets Hoag Apart

07.30.2018 PSJH Network

To ensure the most precise spinal surgery possible, Hoag is the first hospital on the West Coast to offer a new technology platform that combines computerized navigation with robotic surgery, increasing accuracy, reducing recovery time and improving outcomes.

The ExcelsiusGPS™ provides real-time, detailed visualization throughout a procedure to help ensure spinal surgery success. The system streamlines surgery, reduces overall radiation exposure to the patient, surgeon and staff, and minimizes pain and recovery time after surgery.

“This revolutionary technology provides our patients and clinical team with the most technologically advanced minimally invasive treatment option available,” said Burak Ozgur, M.D., chief of service for the Neurosurgery Spine Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag. “This robotic instrument still allows the surgeon to be in complete control, but gives them the added benefit of 3D guided navigation in one easy-to-use tool.”

Hoag has received numerous national, state and local accolades for its success with robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery, as well as being named one of the Top 100 Hospitals & Health Systems with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs for 2017 by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Hoag has shown repeatedly how minimally invasive surgery can result in less blood loss, reduced muscle damage and faster recovery times. For patients, this has made all the difference.

“I am very active, and I have been able to return to all the things that are important to me,” said Judy Digon, who broke her back twice and underwent minimally invasive surgery with Dr. Ozgur in 2017. “I was in chronic pain, my pain never let up, never stopped. Now I do have some pain, but it is very manageable. I feel better about life. I’m able to sit, able to sleep on my side. Dr. Ozgur has given me back a quality of life that I thought was gone permanently.”

Robotic platforms, many funded by philanthropy, are important tools throughout Hoag’s specialized services. Advanced computer-assisted technology is becoming the standard of care in cancer,women’s health, cardiovascular conditions and general surgery. By introducing this technology to spine neurosurgery, Hoag is upholding its commitment to improving outcomes for patients through continued innovation.

“We continue to invest in these state-of-the-art tools because our patients expect and deserve the best and latest technology that medicine has to offer,” said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., senior physician executive and the Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, Hoag.

In the coming months, Hoag will also serve as a training facility for surgeons across the country that want to observe and train in spine procedures using the ExcelsiusGPS. One of the benefits that surgeons find is that the new ExcelsiusGPS platform allows surgeons to work using the preoperative scans, reducing the need for intraoperative radiation exposure while providing the detailed imaging road map that allows for precision and success.

“By enhancing the safety and accuracy of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive spine surgery, we are able to offer patients a level of precision that no other hospital on the West Coast can,” Dr. Ozgur said.

For more information on the Providence St. Joseph Health Network, email

Article originally appeared in Hoag for Life, Spring 2018.

Categories: Innovation, Technology