Las Vegas, NV – Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is celebrating the first complex robotic spine surgery using state of the art software known as a BoneMRI. This technology is used for preoperative planning of screw placement and reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation.

The BoneMRI is part of a unique imaging software that Southern Hills Hospital piloted for an Institutional Review Board study that began in 2021.

The spine surgery completed by Dr. Kornelis Poelstra was done on an 81-year-old patient with a spinal deformity. Previously for similar spine surgeries, a CT scan and MRI were both needed before surgery. A CT scan shows bone detail whereas an MRI highlights soft tissue and nerves – both of which are necessary for preoperative planning. However, the BoneMRI provides both bone and soft tissue detail in one radiation free test.

“This is very exciting,” said Dr. Poelstra who completed the surgery on November 23rd. “As spine surgeons, we are striving for radiation free spine surgery and with the BoneMRI, we get all the necessary details we would from a cat scan without having to do one. This improves logistics and planning and has many added benefits for patients.”

Dr. Poelstra explains using the BoneMRI for robotic surgeries has other advantages including greater accuracy, shorter time under anesthesia, less blood loss and smaller incisions. He also says the BoneMRI has the potential for other surgeries including hip and knee replacement surgeries.

Southern Hills Hospital is the first hospital in the world to use the BoneMRI software in surgery.

“We know CT scans play an important role in health care and provide physicians with crucial information. However, if we can leverage other imaging technologies to get all the information a CT provides without exposing patients to radiation, why wouldn't we want to help spearhead this change?" said Alexis Mussi, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center. The core of our mission is improving all human life, so we were honored to be part of this pilot study.”

Southern Hills Hospital was one of four hospitals worldwide to participate in the pilot study and was done in partnership with MRI guidance. As the software advances, Southern Hills hopes to begin offering it to the Las Vegas Valley.