Dr. Ashutosh Pradhan: Robotics in spine, patient considerations for outpatient surgery & more

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Ashutosh Pradhan, MD, is a neurosurgeon with St. Louis-based Ascension Medical Group and practicing at St. Vincent's Brain & Spine Institute in Jacksonville, Fla. 

Here Dr. Pradhan discusses the future of robotics in spine, the biggest obstacle in spine care and more.

Question: How do you see robotics developing in spine? 

Dr. Ashutosh Pradhan: Robotic applications are a natural evolution to improving our precision in spine surgery. I think we are very early in its use. Current applications are very limited, but early users will help improve the technology to make it a natural part of the spine surgeon's armamentarium.

Q: What are the most important patient evaluation considerations when performing outpatient spine surgery? 

AP: Safety, safety, and safety. Outside of that, length of surgery, age, and scope of possible complications. There are certain complications that require other specialties which need to be readily available.

Q: What do you see as the next big trend in spine?

AP: There are multiple companies with robots in development, arthroplasty devices and wearables to monitor fusions.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle in spine care at the moment?

AP: Our technology sometimes surpasses our financial means. Although reducing cost for any hospital system is important, it reduces opportunities for innovation.

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