Dr. Hugh Bassewitz predicts more spine surgeons migrating to robotic technology

Written by Alan Condon | January 13, 2020 | Print  |

Hugh Bassewitz, MD, is a spine surgeon with Las Vegas-based Desert Orthopaedic Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Here, Dr. Bassewitz discusses the key to DOC's success, his experience with robotic spine surgery and how he sees the technology developing in the future.

Note: Responses are lightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: Fifty years is quite a significant milestone. What has been the practice's key to success?

Dr. Hugh Bassewitz: We have worked very hard to develop and maintain a culture at DOC that fosters collaboration and cooperation. We have focused on making DOC a great place to practice for the physicians. That starts with having the right personalities that truly enjoy working as partners. We are fortunate to have physicians that understand the success of the whole company is just as important as the success of their individual practices.

We believe in the credo that a rising tide will lift all boats. This has created a great team atmosphere amongst the physicians and a very enjoyable workplace environment. We apply the same principles to our administrative team, physician extenders, employees and support staff. The positive culture at the practice is the most important key to the high level satisfaction of our physicians and staff.

Q: What are Desert Orthopaedic Center's goals? Are there any expansion plans?

HB: We are always on the lookout for superbly trained orthopedic surgeons that will mesh well with our collaborative culture. Our most recent facility expansion was four years ago when we opened our fourth location in the southwest area of Las Vegas. We recently expanded our sports medicine department with our first sports medicine family practice specialist, which expanded our sports team coverage. We also added a pain management service with a physiatrist and an anesthesiology pain management physician. Both service line expansions have been very successful.

Q: I understand you're trained in the ExcelsiusGPS robotic navigation system. What has your experience been with this device so far?

HB: Our robotic program began in the middle of 2019 and my team and I have performed over 25 ExcelsiusGPS robotic cases so far. It has been an excellent tool to enhance and expand our minimally invasive fusion procedures. It has also been beneficial with patients that are of above average size and with patients that have dysplastic pedicles that would otherwise have been extremely difficult to instrument.

Q: How do you see robotic technology developing in spine surgery in the next five years?

HB: I have been very satisfied with this technology and expect it to grow in use over time. Over the next five years, I believe more and more surgeons will migrate to some form of navigated robotic technology due to its accuracy and less radiation exposure for the patient and surgical team.

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