ROSA® Robot arrives in UI Health Care neurosurgery department

Rosa system

UI Health Care is the first in Iowa to use ROSA, a minimally invasive robotized surgical assistant, to treat children and adults with epilepsy faster, more safely and effectively.

Traditional neurosurgery is a major medical event that involves long recovery times, pain and scarring. Thankfully, the future of neurosurgery is now much brighter with the introduction of the ROSA robot at University of Iowa Health Care. Patients in Iowa now have access to this safe, effective, minimally invasive surgical technology that allows for quicker recovery time.

Children and adults with epilepsy are the first patients at UI Health Care to benefit from ROSA’s expertise. UI Health Care neurosurgeons are using ROSA for a procedure called stereoelectroencephalography, which involves surgically implanting electrodes into the brain in order to better localize the focus of epileptic seizures.

“We are excited to be the first in Iowa to provide patients with access to this advanced technology,” says Brian Dlouhy, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery. “ROSA will allow our department to expand our surgical capabilities and develop novel new research protocols, while improving the patient experience and recovery process.”

How ROSA works

ROSA, which stands for Robotized Operating Surgical Assistant, has paved the way for the future of stereotactic neurosurgery, a minimally invasive form of surgical intervention that makes use of a three-dimensional coordinate system to locate small targets inside the body. It has two main parts, a computer “brain” and a robotic “arm.” The computer “brain” acts like a GPS, allowing surgeons to create 3D maps of the brain that can be used to better guide procedures for greater accuracy.

“Target accuracy is critical in neurosurgery, and using a robotic surgical assistant helps achieve incredible one mm accuracy from insertion point to end trajectory,” says Dlouhy. “Not only does this technology allow us to more accurately target critical brain structures, but it also significantly reduces the size of the incisions we need to make, which means our patients are in and out of the operating room much more quickly and, in many cases, avoid an ICU stay altogether.”

In the coming months, the neurosurgery department plans to expand use of ROSA for other complex brain surgery procedures, such as deep brain stimulation, biopsies, and laser interstitial thermal therapy to treat tumors and other lesions, as well as other future uses.