By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — Monday, Jan. 23 was a day of great celebration at Wayne HealthCare as Dr. Chad Weber, DO, FAOAO, specialist in trauma, orthopedic, and robotic-assisted surgery, completed his 1000th procedure using Mako SmartRobotics™. Larry Roll, an active, life-long member of the Versailles community, was lucky patient number 1000.
It’s “all in a day’s work,” if you ask Weber, who “got started about 7:30, 8 o’clock” that morning. “We did six surgeries, five joints. We did four total hips, a total knee, and a shoulder (which we don’t [yet] use Mako on),” recounted Weber as nonchalantly as anyone rattling off their business as usual.
Weber elaborated, “You can use the Mako on total hips, total knees, and partial knees—that’s currently what the Mako robot that we use here is programmed for. I think you’ll see shoulder, spine, and ankle probably coming out in the next five years. I think they’ll continue to expand the programs to allow for other joints and other types of surgery.”
Director of Peri-Operative Services Sarah Bubeck, RN-BSN, explained, “Mako is a robotic tool that’s used for joint replacement. It allows for more precise cuts and measurements, and hopefully quicker turnaround, recovery… We’ve been using it at Wayne HealthCare since the end of 2018.”
She continued, “One gentleman today mentioned this was his second procedure and even from the last time he had a total [joint replacement] done, he’s already feeling much better than he did the first time around.” Mako surgeries are usually scheduled a couple times a week at Wayne HealthCare and are typically outpatient procedures. “Like today, four out of our five total joints should go home, be discharged,” Bubeck said.
According to WayneHealthCare.org, Mako surgery may reduce the need for opiates, the duration of hospital stay, inpatient physical therapy, as well as post-operative pain.
“We have seen great patient outcomes with the Mako System,” stated Weber on KetteringHealth.org. “Patients have a quick recovery, less swelling, less pain, and less trauma to the soft tissue. It’s exciting to be able to offer this technology that allows us to place a hip or knee replacement in more of a normal position, making it feel more like a normal joint,” Weber said.
“People come to [Wayne HealthCare] wanting it. We were the first place to have [a Mako robotic arm] above Cincinnati for a good year, and we had people come from Cincinnati who would drive all the way up here,” said Weber. “We had one patient who had surgery up here and liked it so much he had his other side done here, and he also came up here for therapy twice a week!”
“I’ve gone from doing maybe 100 joints per year to over 300, so it’s completely changed my practice as far as how busy I am. [Mako] has more than doubled the number of joints we do up here, for sure,” reported Weber.
Stryker.com details Mako SmartRobotics™ as “an innovative solution” for many suffering from painful joints. “Mako uses a 3D CT-based planning software, so your surgeon can know more about your anatomy to create a personalized joint replacement surgical plan. By guiding your doctor during surgery, Mako’s AccuStop™ technology allows your surgeon to cut less by cutting precisely what’s planned to help protect your healthy bone.”
Weber concurs, saying, “I can walk into a case with complete confidence knowing the product you’re coming out with is gonna be a good product. You know [the patient’s] leg lengths are gonna be equal and all their implants are going to be in perfect position.”
“There are cases that are much more complex that we wouldn’t normally do [in Greenville], so it’s made us able to do cases in a controlled environment, using the robot with great outcomes that we probably wouldn’t have necessarily done here before… it has allowed us to expand what we do here,” explained Weber. “People want to come here. Now we have people come from Dayton all the time up here—if they can get in!”
When asked about cost comparison in utilizing Mako, Bubeck said, “There shouldn’t be a cost disadvantage at all. And when you think about the faster recovery time, less time spent in the hospital—that’s also a big advantage.”
Vice President of Business Development Terri Flood, MHA added, “That’s thanks to the advancement of technology because, before, [joint replacement] was an inpatient procedure.”
“Our doctors here, our orthopedic providers, all use the Mako—Dr. Weber, Dr, Hatic, and Dr. Reed. They are all part of Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Ohio,” stated Flood and Bubeck.
Flood shared, “Wayne HealthCare was the first hospital in region to use the Stryker Mako robotic-arm assisted technology for knee and hip replacements. Through a successful partnership with Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Ohio, Wayne HealthCare continues to lead with excellent patient outcomes and experience in orthopedic care. We strive to be the first-choice destination for orthopedics and joint replacement.”
In addition to having state-of-the-art equipment, Wayne HealthCare boasts excellent staff.
Newer positions, such as that of Surgical Patient Navigator Michael Karns, RN, assist patients through the entire surgical process. “I do all the education before [surgery]… I do their insurance, I give them supplies before surgery to use, and I set up their home healthcare, get them accepted to a nursing home or get any equipment they need,” said Karns. “I assist with communication between the providers and the patients, always being there for either one of them to answer questions or bounce ideas off of.”
Flood said, “Michael is instrumental in making a seamless transition for our patients. Everybody, from patients to colleagues, to surgeons have given big kudos to Michael.”
“The most important thing that I’ve done,” said Karns, “is to be continually looking at the process and finding ways to make it better. We’ve changed quite a few things to eliminate some of the barriers patients once had.” Observation and patient input have helped drive these improvements according to Karns.
Regarding Weber’s 1000th procedure, Karns said, “Dr. Weber has been amazing to work with! He’s made my job a lot easier. He respects me and my opinion which makes it easy to talk to him.”
“Wayne HealthCare is where it all started for me as far as doing robotics,” Weber said. “If it wasn’t for [Wayne HealthCare] having faith in me to do it, we probably wouldn’t have gotten robotics anywhere. This is where it started and that’s why we wanted to do the 1000th here. So, a big thank you to them,” concluded Weber.
Dr. Weber is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who provides comprehensive general orthopedic surgery and orthopedic trauma care throughout Southwestern Ohio and surrounding areas. He joined Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Ohio in the fall of 2010 after completing his orthopedic trauma fellowship at OrthoIndy and his orthopedic surgery residency at Ohio University Kettering Network Grandview Medical Center. He currently sees patients in Dayton, Centerville, and Greenville. Dr. Weber’s goal is to “provide the highest-quality and most comprehensive general orthopedic and orthopedic trauma care to the community. My patients are my top priority. Consideration of the whole patient, open communication, and easy accessibility will enable us to be successful in obtaining our goal of a positive and functional outcome.”
Access an informative Mako video on Wayne HealthCare’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=575825059584713.
Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.