Mercy Gifted Region’s Only Spinal Surgical Robot by Northwest Arkansas Philanthropist Laurice Hachem

November 15, 2023

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas has acquired the cutting-edge Mazor X robotic spinal surgical platform, positioning itself as the regional leader in neurosurgical innovation. This state-of-the-art technology promises advanced precision and efficiency in complex spine surgeries, a milestone achieved through the philanthropic support of Laurice Hachem, who was inspired by her late husband Sam Hachem's battle with Lewy Body Dementia.

MAZOR X robotic spinal surgical platform MAZOR X robotic spinal surgical platform

"This unique technology elevates our ability to perform minimally invasive surgery, particularly in complex spinal surgeries such as deformity,” said Dr. Alejandro Castellvi, a Mercy neurosurgeon who championed the region’s need for the cutting-edge robotic spinal surgery technology. “Patients can expect less pain and quicker recovery times. Technology of this kind keeps us at the forefront of exceptional patient care and enhancing our work to recruit top health care professionals to Mercy."

Dr. Castellvi already has experience with the Mazor from surgeries he performed with a previous version of the device during his residency and fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before he joined Mercy five years ago. In fact, his late father, Dr. Antonio Castellvi, who was considered to be a research luminary in the field of spinal surgery, worked with the first iteration of the Mazor.

The Mazor X, designed for spine surgery, offers numerous benefits:

·       Surgical Plans: Physicians create a personalized surgical plan for patients before entering the operating room, which can be described as GPS navigation for the spine, enhancing precision of complex spine procedures.

·       Improved Implant Accuracy: The robot ensures precise placement of spinal instrumentation, improving safety and outcomes.

·       Reduced Surgery Time and Length of Stay: The technology streamlines surgical procedures, leading to shorter operative times and reduced recovery periods.

MAZOR X robotic spinal surgical platform First surgery using the MAZOR X robotic spinal surgical platform took place on Nov. 14, 2023.

"This addition to our surgical capabilities exemplifies Mercy's commitment to providing top-tier care and services to keep our patients right here, close to their family and friends,” said Ryan Gehrig, president, Mercy Arkansas Communities. “We are immensely grateful to Laurice Hachem for her generous contribution, making Mercy the only hospital in the region with this technology."

Laurice Hachem has a history of transformative giving to Mercy, previously supporting the expansion of Mercy’s Neuroscience Center. Her past contributions have significantly enhanced neurosurgical capabilities, allowing patients to receive specialized care close to home.

Laurice Hachem Philanthropist Laurice Hachem's generous gift to Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas made it possible for Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas to purchase the new MAZOR X robotic spinal surgical platform.

"You always want to believe that when you give, whether it's monetary or time, that it matters, that it makes a difference, that it's successful, that it's helping,” said Hachem. “For Mercy, this technology is going to make a huge difference to so many people, so many lives. My late husband Sam's journey with Lewy Body Dementia inspired me to contribute to advancements in neuroscience and provide hope to those facing neurological challenges."

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas continues to lead in health care innovation, ensuring the community has access to the latest technology and world-class medical expertise.