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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

WILKES-BARRE/SHAMOKIN, Pa. –  Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre (GSWB) and Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital (GSACH) are the first hospitals in northeastern and central Pennsylvania to offer patients robotic-arm assisted knee and hip replacements with the Mako System. 

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said orthopaedic surgeon Michael Suk, M.D., chief physician officer and chair of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute.

This $1.2 million, highly advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling surgeons to more accurately position a joint replacement on a patient. In most patients, this translates into a better and longer-performing artificial joint, as well as a faster post-operative recovery.

Frank Kazmierski, 60, of Nanticoke, knew he needed medical attention when walking to his car at work became unbearable. 

Dr. David Kolessar performed a traditional partial knee surgery on my left side last year. It went so well, and I had such a great experience, I thought: ‘Why not try the robot on my right knee?” said Mr. Kazmierski, the first patient at GSWB to undergo a partial knee replacement using the Mako robotic arm. “I used to enjoy walking 2 to 3 miles every other day – but I had to give it up when my knees wore out. I’m looking forward to the spring, when I’ll get back outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.”

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements in the United States are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. 

“Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan,” Dr. Suk said. “It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform knee and hip replacements.”

With Mako, surgeons at GSWB and GSACH will have the ability to offer total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements. 

  • Mako Total Knee: This knee replacement treatment option is designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3-D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako System also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.
  • Mako Partial Knee: This treatment option is designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee, while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Studies have shown robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual partial knee replacement procedures.
  • Mako Total Hip: This treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan. In cadaveric studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup placement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures.

“We are proud to offer this highly advanced robotic technology to our patients,” said Dr. Suk. “The addition of Mako to our orthopaedic services demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”

For more information, call 800-275-6401 or email

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

MAKO patient gives a thumbs up in post surgery at GSWB
Orthopaedic surgeon David Kolessar, MD, and patient Frank Kazmierski, 60, of Nanticoke celebrate the completion of his partial knee replacement using the Mako robotic arm. Mr. Kazmierski was the first patient at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre to undergo surgery using this highly advanced robotic technology.
Angie and Matt Pruchnik
Matt Pruchnik is back to work as owner of Berrigans Subs in Bloomsburg with his wife Angie just weeks after having a partial knee replacement with Geisinger. Mr. Pruchnik is the first patient at Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital to undergo a joint replacement using the Mako robotic arm system.
Members of the MAKO team at Geisinger South Wilkes Barre
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. David Kolessar and the orthopaedic surgery team at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre with the Mako robotic-arm.
Members of the MAKO team at Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Feldmann and the orthopaedic surgery team with the Mako robotic-arm at Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital.
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