Skip to main content

Doctor-controlled robot to perform orthopedic surgeries in Dartmouth, N.S.


A smart robotics system could be the future of what surgery looks like and it’s already hard at work at Dartmouth General Hospital.

The Mako Smart RoboticsTM system helps doctors perform hip and knee surgeries more accurately.

The system allows doctors to take CT scans, plan where implants go and take exact measurements. A surgeon controls the robotic arm.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Leighton said this new technology will provide the best possible patient care.

“We’ve never been able to manually execute with this level of precision and we can also capture the data to then use and look back at how we can be better,” she said.

Dartmouth General Hospital ran the robot’s first trial on a patient over two months ago. It was the first surgery in Canada using this smart robotic technology.

Officials at the hospital believe the system will help reduce wait time.

“The ability to use this robotic technology to allow patients to have same-day surgeries and not requiring an overnight stay at the hospital is where we can really tackle those wait times,” said Stephen Harding, president and CEO of Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation.

Dartmouth general performs the majority of partial knee replacement surgeries in Nova Scotia. Leighton said the robot makes the procedure easier for patients.

“We’re really excited to bring this in to improve satisfaction rates and decrease things like pain, swelling and the need for narcotics,” she said.

The Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation fully funded the $2-million dollar project.

The foundation said the hospital could add more robots depending on how the current one affects surgical wait times. Top Stories

Stay Connected