Regional pioneer finds passion in innovation and ‘helping patients get their lives back’

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OrthoCincy surgeon who performed first robotic knee replacement in Ohio successfully completes the 2000th replacement.

Suresh Nayak, MD, is passionate about helping his patients get back to enjoying life without muscle, joint, tendon or bone pain. He has been practicing orthopaedic surgery — specializing in joint replacement — in the Cincinnati area for more than 25 years. With the merging of Wellington Orthopaedics and OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine earlier this year, Dr. Nayak officially began practicing at St. Elizabeth Healthcare as a part of the Orthopaedic Institute at St. Elizabeth.

Recognized as a Top Doctor in Cincinnati for over 15 years, Dr. Nayak sees patients in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, bringing his expertise in robotic surgery to patients across the region. He specializes in arthroscopic surgery for hips, knees, shoulders and rotator cuffs, as well as hip, knee and shoulder replacements.

Orthopaedic medicine: real change in a short period

When you hear about Dr. Nayak’s family, it’s not shocking that he ended up as an orthopaedic surgeon. Both his father and brother are orthopaedic surgeons, and he is one of roughly 30 doctors in his family. His grandfather also started a medical college back in India. Dr. Nayak is passionate about the orthopaedic specialty.

“In orthopaedic medicine, we can affect real change in a short period,” Dr. Nayak says. “If we replace a joint, within a few weeks or months, that person gets their life back. Without orthopaedic and sports medicine, people’s lives can take a completely different turn.”

And although he feels strongly about the life-changing benefits of orthopaedic surgery, Dr. Nayak acknowledges that surgery isn’t always the best option. It should be the “last resort” after less-invasive treatments don’t work.

“When it comes to patient care, I believe in the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. That means being honest with patients and providing the best treatment for their needs,” Dr. Nayak says. “If you need surgery, I’ll tell you, but I want to make sure we try all the other options first.”

Surgeon completes 2,000 robotic-assisted knee replacements

Over eight years ago, Dr. Nayak began performing robot-assisted joint surgeries. He completed the first robotic knee replacement in Ohio. He is a regional pioneer for the technology for hip and knee replacements – recently completing his 2,000th robotic surgery in the region. Dr. Nayak’s colleagues at OrthoCincy practicing at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, have performed an additional 1,100 robotic hip and knee replacements, making OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine the leaders in the region in the use of this technology.

“It’s a huge number of robotic joint replacements. We’ve used this technology so much that we’re at the point where it’s routine care,” he adds.

Dr. Nayak also helps spread his knowledge of robotic procedures. He’s a staff member of the University of Cincinnati Department of Orthopaedics, where he teaches surgery residents how to use robotic technology. He also traveled to Santiago, Chile, where he helped install robotic surgery tools and trained surgeons on the platform.

How robotic procedures help patients

Robot-assisted joint surgery helps make sure the procedure “is done right every single time,” Dr. Nayak explains. This not only can speed recovery, but it can also improve patient outcomes.

With this technology, surgeons create 3D models of the patient’s joint using CT scan images. With the 3D model and robotic surgery tools, they plan the surgery down to every last detail. The surgeons know exactly how much bone to remove and the right size for any replacement material.

The surgeons also program the surgery plan into the robotic system. When it’s surgery time, the robotic technology helps surgeons duplicate that surgery plan precisely.

“We control the robotic arms, but it does exactly what we’ve programmed into the system,” Dr. Nayak explains. “Essentially, it doesn’t let you ‘color outside the lines,’ or damage any healthy tissue around the joint.”

The precision of robot-assisted technology shortens surgery times. More importantly, it also results in less pain for the patient, which means fewer narcotics and a faster recovery time at home. Many patients can return home the same day as their surgery.

Innovating to improve outcomes

Beyond robotic surgery, Dr. Nayak is always looking for new ways to use technology to improve patient outcomes. He helped launch OrthoVitals, a platform and app that allows orthopaedic surgeons to better track their patients’ recovery and risk for complications.

With the OrthoVitals platform, Dr. Nayak and his colleagues perform a pre-surgery risk assessment for each patient. Using this information, the surgeon and patient can work together to reduce risks of complications before the patient steps into the operating room.

The software helps predict post-op care needs, such as home health care services. Surgery teams can also use the platform to check in on patients after surgery with telehealth and remote patient monitoring tools.

“Beyond robotics, we’re looking at how we can use technology to make sure our patients feel their best and transition to home safely,” Dr. Nayak says.

With better data and tracking for patients, the St. Elizabeth and OrthoCincy Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine teams collaborate to provide more well-rounded care. Beyond joint surgery, they can look at other ways to help patients live healthier lives. Whether it’s smoking cessation, diabetes management, or weight loss programs, the team works together to get the patient the resources they need to recover and thrive.

“We’re a community of doctors and a system truly takes care of the whole patient,” Dr. Nayak says. “We’re all working together to make sure you get the very best care.”

Make an appointment

To make an appointment with Dr. Nayak, please call our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons from OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine at (859) 301-BONE.