Dartmouth General Hospital first location in Canada to use Mako SmartRoboticsTM for total hip replacement surgery.

Health And Wellness

**** NSHA Media Release

Dartmouth General Hospital first location in Canada to use Mako SmartRoboticsTM for total hip replacement surgery.

The first total hip replacement surgery in Canada using the Mako SmartRobotics™ System has been completed at the Fred Smithers Centre for Orthopedic Care at the Dartmouth General Hospital.


The Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub and Perioperative Services team have collaborated with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jennifer Leighton, the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation, and Stryker, an industry partner and one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, to use this leading-edge technology that will transform the future of surgeries in Nova Scotia and support the recruitment and retention of clinical and research expertise at the Dartmouth General Hospital.


Hip and knee replacement surgeries are some of the most developed surgeries in the world. Traditional surgery continues to be an excellent option for patients and Robotic technology is simply evolving these surgeries to the next level of excellence. Stryker’s innovative robotic arm technology is controlled by a surgeon during hip and knee surgeries and offers unprecedented precision for the placement of a joint implant (arthroplasty surgeries).


Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™ system consists of three unique key components in one platform. This includes 3D CT-based planning, AccuStop™ haptic technology and insightful data analytics. Early research indicates this robotics assisted surgery offers many benefits to patients including less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, and more natural feeling movement after surgery. In addition, the likelihood of a second surgery could be reduced, and patients might avoid having a more invasive total replacement if a partial replacement is possible. ​ ​


This latest expansion of surgical robotics, to include additional orthopedic applications, will help further establish Nova Scotia Health’s reputation for innovation and excellence, establishing it as a Canadian leader in innovative surgical robotics, research, and care.


Through a collaborative research program with the QEII Health Sciences Centre Division of Orthopedics, Dartmouth General Hospital, and the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, the feasibility and efficacy of robotics in surgery in Canada will be assessed, along with the exploration of the patient care journey, detailed surgical planning and early hospital discharge.


The $2 million project will be fully funded by DGH Foundation donors, with the foundation actively raising funds to support the robot’s continued use.


“Expanding the type of services, we can offer through the Mako SmartRobotics System is allowing us to provide the most innovative surgical care in the country.​ We are so fortunate to have the support of philanthropic partners, like the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation, and industry partners, like Stryker, who are essential in the optimization of transforming health and health care for Nova Scotians.”

-​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy

Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery, and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health

“Having the Mako SmartRobotics System join the Fred Smithers Centre for Orthopedic Care is another amazing example of innovation at Dartmouth General Hospital. We are so proud that Dr. Leighton was able to complete the first robot-assisted hip replacement in Canada. None of this would be possible without our incredible donors and their belief in the innovation happening, and the incredible staff, at Dartmouth General. Thank you so much to the DGH Foundation Board for their leadership and for embracing our role as changemakers”

-​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Stephen Harding

President and CEO, DGH Foundation


“Mako SmartRobotics allows us to develop precise surgical plans that are tailored to the individual patient. This means less pain, quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays and more natural feeling movement after surgery. This is precision medicine at its finest.”

-​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Dr. Jennifer Leighton, MD, FRCSC, MSc Orthopedic Surgeon (Lower Extremity Reconstruction), Dartmouth General Hospital, Nova Scotia Health



• Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan.​

• Mako SmartRobotics is for surgeries of the hip and knees, which includes both partial and total knee replacements and hip replacements.

• Mako SmartRobotics creates insightful precise data at the time of surgery which allows the surgeons to continually assess the procedure and refine the surgical plan intraoperatively if necessary.

• In 2021, Nova Scotia Health’s QEII Health Science Centre Division of Orthopedics became the second in Canada to utilize the Mako SmartRobotics system for partial and total knee applications. The team at Dartmouth General Hospital is collaborating with the QEII in a joint research program aimed at evaluating outcomes of robotic surgery.

•Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Hub, is transforming health care delivery and improving the health of all Nova Scotians by leading initiatives that deliver high-impact health care solutions and developing strategic partnerships with clinical champions, industry, healthcare foundations, government, and academic partners.


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