With the support of the Board of Commissioners, Island Hospital purchased the Excelsius GPS®, a state-of-the-art robot that enhances accuracy and safety for spinal surgeries. The Excelsius GPS® combines robotic and intraoperative navigation technology into one system, making it an exciting addition to the Sport & Spine program at Island Hospital. This is the first spinal robot in the region.

The purchase of Excelsius GPS® is expected to augment the already highly successful Sport & Spine program at Island Hospital, which has recently been set apart as the only hospital in the State of Washington to receive the 100 Best Orthopedic Surgery award in 2021.

“Island Hospital is leading the way in orthopedics. Through our early adoption of innovative technologies like the Excelsius GPS®, we will continue to provide excellent care to our surgical patients with even greater accuracy and efficiency. This new technology is incredibly exciting for both patients and staff,” said Island Hospital CEO Charles Hall, MSN, MBA, RN.

The Excelsius GPS® is completely controlled by the surgeon, who will provide the same level of excellent surgical performance and care for patients. This technology allows for even more precision and safety, while also increasing the quality of life for surgical patients. Island Hospital looks forward to utilizing the Excelsius GPS® to promote less invasive procedures, as well as safer operating rooms for staff and patients with a reduction of radiation exposure.

Surgeries utilizing the Excelsius GPS® will be performed and monitored by orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Dawei Lu, who said, “I am thrilled to incorporate the Excelsius GPS® technology into my surgical procedures at Island Hospital. I anticipate many benefits for my patients, most notably in the many ways that this device will add precision and efficiency. This is a revolutionary technological tool that will no doubt have a positive impact on many lives.”

This new surgical robotic device will help maximize predictability during spinal surgeries by offering meticulously-accurate imaging for the surgical team to view in real-time as they perform procedures. The technology also allows the surgeon to guide a rigid robotic arm as it follows a specific pathway that has been planned by the surgeon beforehand through intricately-detailed imaging and mapping of the patient’s anatomy.

Benefits of utilizing the new Excelsius GPS® include:

  • Less invasive surgical procedures
  • Faster recovery time for patients
  • Less tissue damage
  • Reduction in exposure to radiation for the surgical team and patients
  • Improved imaging and accuracy
  • Smaller incisions, which may result in smaller scars
  • Reduction in surgical complications and the need for potential spinal revision surgery in the future

Types of surgeries that may be performed with the Excelsius GPS® include:

  • Minimally-invasive surgical procedures
  • Spinal fusion surgeries
  • Extensive and complex surgeries, including open procedures for posterior, transforaminal, and lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedures

Island Hospital is proud to be leading the way in the field of robotic surgery, and will continue to provide award-winning orthopedic service to the region.


Dr. Dawei Lu is a board-certified and fellowship-trained Skagit Northwest Orthopedics spine surgeon specializing in adult degenerative conditions of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Dr. Lu’s surgical expertise lies in minimally invasive spine surgery, and he uses the latest techniques and procedures to ensure patients are treated individually to attain the best possible outcomes. Dr. Lu is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society. In addition, Dr. Lu enjoys downhill skiing, mountain and road cycling, boating and fishing in his free time. To contact Dr. Lu regarding spinal surgery, call (360) 424-2400.

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Published on June 17, 2021