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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

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 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.


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Mike McMullen
Senior Communications Specialist

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