We are now part of Blackrock Health, Ireland's newest private hospital group. Click here to learn more

CEO Blog

Blackrock Clinic CEO Blog Introducing the MAKO CT-based robotic arm-assisted system from Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™.

Introducing the MAKO CT-based robotic arm-assisted system from Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™.

1st Dec 2021

As a leading Irish Hi Tech private hospital our mission is to provide the best healthcare for our patients. Through this lens, we commit to keeping pace with the acute industry trends by realising and implementing the newest innovations in systems and technology and supporting the expert professionals who drive them. To that end, we are delighted to welcome our latest investment in theatre robotics, and a first for Dublin, the MAKO CT-based robotic arm-assisted system from Stryker’s MAKO SmartRobotics™.   

The MAKO System

The MAKO system uses best-in-class precision technology, currently programmed for orthopaedic arthroplasty (hip and knee joint replacement surgery).

The patient journey begins with a CT scan, from which a 3D personalised template is created. This gives the surgeon a unique anatomy of the patient, allowing for customised surgical assessment and planning.

The surgical robot is programmed according to the patient-specific template and operated by the trained orthopaedic surgeon using MAKO AccuStop haptic technology to accomplish personalised joint arthroplasty. The accuracy of the surgery effects the preservation of soft tissue and healthy bone, bringing great advantages to patient recovery. Studies conclude that ‘the CT-based robotic-assisted system for [total knee replacement] reduced postoperative pain and improved implant positioning’1. Further patient benefits are reported to be reduced need for analgesics, shorter hospital stay and lower number of post-operative physiotherapy sessions.

Pictured are James O’Donoghue, CEO Blackrock Clinic, Chris Carr, COO Blackrock Clinic, David Butler, VP of Operations at Stryker, and Shelley Padley, Strategic Alliance Manager at Tekno Surgical

As observed in other robotic-surgical patient cases, the advantages of the smallest incisions are reduced blood loss, reduced pain, and reduced scarring; all positive outcomes for recovery and post-surgical lifestyle.

Blackrock Clinic is proud to bring together the largest number of orthopaedic surgeons in Ireland trained to use the MAKO robot and supported by a specially trained orthopaedic surgical and nursing team.

Whilst the MAKO system will initially be used for primary hip and knee replacements, software updates are expected in the near future for shoulder replacement.

Patient Outcomes

Whatever stage in the age of healthcare we find ourselves, Blackrock Clinic is dedicated to improving outcomes, and we use data analysis to benchmark this. We use interactive platforms to view trends, case specifics and insights to help our surgeons make informed decisions.

Last November, we became the first private hospital to commit to the national performance indicator, the Irish National Orthopaedic Register (“INOR”). An electronic system to record and monitor all elective hip and knee joint replacement procedures performed in participating hospitals, the INOR enables Blackrock Clinic to benchmark our outcomes against national results, and play a part in audits from the National Office of Clinical Audit (“NOCA”).

Orthopaedic surgery is one of Blackrock Clinic’s key areas of world class treatment. Moving forward into the next iteration of the health industry, continued investment and continued performance analysis and benchmarking will ensure that we remain the provider of the highest quality patient care.

1. Batailler, C., Fernandez, A., Swan, J., Servien, E., Haddad, F.S., Catani, F. and Lustig, S. (2000). MAKO CT-based robotic arm-assisted system is a reliable procedure for total knee arthroscopy: a systematic review. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy.