Robotic technology helping with spinal surgeries at Phoenix hospital

Having a bad back or spinal problems can be incredibly painful, and operations can be lengthy and trickly.

Now, there is a new way to do spinal surgery, with a revolutionary technique and new technology.

Barrow Neoruological Insitute at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center developed the Globus Excelsius GPS robot technology with Johns Hopkins. The technology, which cost over $1 million, could change the way back operations are done, and bring more renown to an already world-famous institution.

Richard Paulsen's business is cleaning carpets and doing remodeling in Lake Havasu City. It's a tough job, and even tougher when he had a really bad back.

"Probably in last five years, so intense it was limiting me to do just certain jobs, and a couple hours at a time before I had to give up for the day," said Paulsen.

Paulsen is 59, and thought he might have to hang it up, until he got the chance to be the first patient ever to have the robot operate on his spine.

"I would say minimally invasive spinal fusion is what this robot is uniquely equipped to do," said Dr. Steve Chang with Barrow Neurological Institute.

The robot is so precise, it made this complex operation go much more quickly and smoothly. Procedures that used to take days or weeks are now done in hours, leaving just a few tiny marks where incisions are made.

"Surgeons and scientists created this in process for years," said Dr. Chang.

Now, Paulsen is itching to get back to work.

"Being that I'm not a techno. it is an amazing thing they could do it that fast," said Paulsen. "The way I feel right now, it is amazing. It is amazing."