St. Joseph’s Hospitals Launch Robotic Spine Surgery Program

September 28, 2018

Hospitals acquire state-of-the-art Mazor X robotic guidance system

TAMPA, Fla., (Sept. 28, 2018) – St. Joseph’s Hospitals have launched a robotic spine surgery program for pediatric and adult patients with the acquisition of the Mazor X™ robotic guidance system. This state-of-the-art technology maximizes surgical predictability, efficiency and precision, thereby reducing complications and the need for spinal revision surgery in the future, among a host of other benefits. The first procedure with this new device—L4-5 bilateral decompressive laminectomies and transforaminal instrumented lumbar interbody fusion—was performed this month.

The Mazor X is ideal for treating a variety of spine conditions including curvature of the spine (scoliosis), herniated discs, vertebral fractures, traumatic spine injury, degenerative disc disease, spinal weakness or instability, spinal tumors, slipped disc (spondylolisthesis) and narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis).

“Living with back pain from injury or a medical condition can be debilitating, and recovery from spine surgery was once a long process,” explained Dr. Gabriel Gonzales-Portillo, neurosurgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “We are thrilled to now offer robotic spine surgery with the Mazor X, which is a game changer for these patients. By utilizing this technology, we can offer them a solution that not only reduces the recovery time post-surgery, but also greatly improves their quality of life for years to come.”

The Mazor X includes three integrated processes: planning, guidance and verification. Its 3D planning software creates a comprehensive surgical plan tailored to each patient’s spine and condition. During the procedure, and with the surgeon in full control, the Mazor X guides the tools and implants at the proper trajectory and position according to the predetermined blueprint. The system’s camera then provides intra-operative verification of the positioning. 

Additional benefits of spine surgery with the Mazor X include reduced radiation exposure from imaging compared to traditional back surgery and less pain during recovery. Patients are also able to go home from the hospital sooner and often experience a quicker return to improved back function.

About BayCare’s Robotic Spine Surgery
BayCare’s Robotic Spine Surgery program originally began at Morton Plant Hospital and the addition of robotic surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospitals has expanded the program. BayCare also provides other minimally invasive spine surgery at Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, South Florida Baptist, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South and Winter Haven hospitals. For more information or a referral to a back or neck specialist who performs minimally invasive spine surgery, call (855) 314-8347 to find a doctor near you.

About St. Joseph’s Hospital
St. Joseph’s Hospital, part of the BayCare Health System, is known for advanced medical technology and compassionate care. Its Centers of Excellence include the Heart Institute, Cancer Institute, Stroke and Neuroscience Program, Robotic Surgery Program and Emergency/Trauma Departments, which treats more patients than any other hospital in the Tampa Bay region. More than 70 specialties are represented among the medical staff, from internal medicine to cardiology, neurology to surgery.  The hospital was founded in 1934 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. 

About BayCare
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and west central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit