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Sacred Heart Leads the Way in Surgical Revolution Utilizing Highly Automated Robotic Technologies
Posted: 3/29/2018

MIRAMAR BEACH, Florida, (Mar. 27, 2018) – The Spine Center of Excellence at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast sees more than 70 surgical patients each month. Sacred Heart has led the way in transforming spine surgery from freehand procedures to highly efficient, surgeon assisted, robotic technologies.

Welcoming a robot into the operating room may sound like it should be reserved for science fiction, but Sacred Heart Hospital makes us forget it was ever anything but fact. Dr. Kornelis Poelstra is one of a handful of surgeons in the United States who has been expertly trained using the Mazor X, a robot used in spine surgeries that revolutionizes both the operation and the patient’s post-op experience. Poelstra, is the founder of Sacred Heart’s Spine Center, and is the first surgeon in the world to reach the milestone of 300 complex construction patient procedures using the state-of-the-art Mazor X™ Surgical Assurance platform.

"The Mazor X is a foundational piece of our robotic technology. We are proud to have brought the first Mazor X robot to the South-Eastern region of the U.S.,” said Roger Hall, president of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Our surgeons are continually redefining the standards of surgery by combining learned skill with advanced technology, benefiting not only our surgeons but our patients as well,” he added.
Poelstra has accomplished more than 550 robotic-assisted surgery cases altogether, utilizing various robotic platforms at SHHEC since 2014 with greater than 99.8% accuracy.

“I do on average 50 cases per month which includes lumbar reconstructive fusions, cervical reconstructions, non-fusion cases such as disc replacements and decompressions,” said Poelstra. “Our research has clearly shown evidence of improved surgical outcomes, greater patient safety, shorter operating times and faster recovery for our patients.”

“We simply are better prepared when we go into the operating room due to the 3-D global alignment software planning stage of the Mazor X system. Once I have planned my case, I can execute even the most difficult and complex spine surgery in a flawless fashion,” said Poelstra. Transitioning into the cervical spine has allowed us to do procedures of greater complexity to address spine tumors we would not have been able to do in the past. The progress is amazing and it is a privilege to be part of that," he added.

About Sacred Heart Health System
On the Gulf Coast, Ascension operates Sacred Heart Health System based in Pensacola, Fla. and Providence Hospital and Providence Medical Group based in Mobile, Ala. Together, these Ascension healthcare facilities have served Gulf Coast communities for more than 160 years and they employ more than 6,600 associates. Across the region, Ascension provided more than $113 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more on Sacred Heart Health System, visit

About Sacred Heart Spine Center
The Spine Center at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast provides comprehensive care for patients receiving spine surgery. Our healthcare team of board certified-orthopedic spine surgeons, nurses, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists offer each patient a highly individualized treatment plan to help our patients return to a higher quality of life. The center was founded by Dr. Kornelis Poelstra who is a pioneer of MIS pedicle systems, lateral interbody cages and reconstructive systems, serving patients across the United States and internationally.

About Mazor
Mazor Robotics (TASE: MZOR; NASDAQGM: MZOR) believes in healing through innovation by developing and introducing revolutionary technologies and products aimed at redefining the gold standard of quality care. Mazor Robotics Guidance Systems enable surgeons to conduct spine and brain procedures in an accurate and secure manner. For more information, please visit

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