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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre’s orthopaedics team recently performed the 1,500th Mako robotic-assisted surgery since the introduction of this technology in northeastern Pennsylvania in 2018. 

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Michael Suk, M.D., J.D., chair of the Geisinger Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “This great milestone for our northeast Mako team, enabling patients to receive care closer to home with quicker recovery times.”

The 1,500th surgery was a total knee replacement performed by Douglas VanderBrook, M.D., Geisinger orthopaedic surgeon. 

“The precision of a robotic joint replacement requires less soft tissue dissection, often resulting in a more cosmetic scar and less postoperative swelling,” said Dr. VanderBrook. “It is one of the most significant advances in the field of joint replacement in history.” 

The Mako system enables surgeons to offer total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements and consists of two parts: virtual planning and implementation. The planning feature allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan before entering the operating room using a virtual 3D model that leads to greater accuracy during surgery. During surgery, Mako’s robotic-assisted device creates a virtual barrier to protect delicate structures, which translates to more precision in the surgery with less complications and a quicker recovery.

As the sole provider of Mako joint replacement surgery, Geisinger offers consultations not only at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, but also at Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital, Geisinger Community Medical Center Scranton and Geisinger Lewistown Hospital. 

Along with Dr. VanderBrook, James Murphy, M.D., and David Kolessar, M.D., also perform Mako assisted surgeries at the south Wilkes-Barre hospital and contributed to the team reaching this milestone.  For more information about Mako, visit


About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.


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