First robotic spine surgery performed in Western New York

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Western New York is now on the map for cutting edge surgeries. The first robotic spine surgery in the region was successful at the St. Joseph campus of Sisters Hospital.

Just by looking at her, you wouldn’t think Susan Floyd from Kenmore had serious spine surgery just a little over two weeks ago. She said, “I’ve never felt this good, I feel like i’m 21 again.”

It’s been over a decade since she blew out 4 discs in her back. She said, “I heard a crack, and I couldnt kinda breathe. I had some numbness immediately.”

Now she is the first person to try out a robotic spine surgery in the area.

Dr. Anthony Leone has become quite familiar with the  device which is about the size of a pop can. He said, “What’s more accurate than a computerized robot?”

The surgery is a non- invasive procedure that uses computer mapping. This means no cutting through muscle, the device speeds up recovery time, there is less blood loss and most importantly less pain.

Dr. Leone said, “With less post operative pain, there is less chance of addiction. That’s because you’re not going to be put on those stronger, more potent pain killers.”

Dr. Leone is familiar with the opioid epidemic here. It’s something he’s see quite frequently, especially with spine injuries. He said, “It’s finding its way into colleges and high schools.”

And as less invasive technology becomes more popular, he’s hopeful robots like the “Mazor” (mazure) will put a cap on that.

Floyd said, “I just think technology is amazing, and for soemthing to be so accurate, it blows me away.”

Normal recovery time for a fusion spine surgery is normally about 6 months. If you’ve been told you need a lower back or spinal fusion, Dr. Leone says you’re a good candidate for this.

For more information on the procedure, or you’d like to get a consultation, head to the Sisters of Charity website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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