World-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raul Marquez takes technology and his talent abroad.
Edinburg surgeon Dr. Raul Marquez has emerged as one of the region’s most world-traveled physicians, and the foremost expert in robotic surgery using the Navio system.
Currently serving as an international instructor primarily in the USA, Germany and Latin America for the use of computer and robotic technology, Dr Marquez’s influence spans across the globe.
“The valuable time I spent with Dr. Marquez provided additional depth of understanding the Navio robotic technology, and will allow me to get off to a quick start with the technology in my own practice,” said Dr. Brett Fritsch, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Australia.
Navio refers to robotic-assisted technology that combines handheld intelligent instruments for precise partial knee replacement procedures, without the need for CT-scans or standard mechanical cutting guides.
By diligently working with reputable orthopedic engineers on improving and modifying navigation techniques, Dr. Marquez said the goal is to develop new technological devices that will improve clinical outcomes and provide a higher level of accuracy and safety.
“Partial knee surgery has been around since the 1940s, the problem is that is was done manually. It was done with mechanical instruments, which means we had to put a gause inside the bone with pins, which made it very difficult to align the knee,” Dr. Marquez said. “That is the reason why I use the robot and the computer because it’s impossible for the human eye to tell if you have one to two degrees of deviation.”
Knees have to be properly aligned with the center of the hip. Deviation refers to the improper alignment of the prosthesis, which can loosen if they are not properly set.
As one of the leading orthopedic surgeons within the national and international medical communities, Dr. Marquez’s career spans more than 20 years in the Rio Grande Valley. During that time, he has remained at the forefront of medical technology, and has often developed unique devices for patients.
In 1999, he designed and patented his own mobile bearing knee implant known as RAM Mobile Bearing Knee, which was developed in conjunction with Encore Orthopaedic located in Austin. At the time, Bob Mastromonaco, Product Director of Orthopedic Aesculap Implants System credited Marquez as the main catalyst for a new era in his field.
“Dr. Marquez has helped raise the level of precision of knee surgery to a new level,” Mastromonaco said.
The international community has taken notice, and often make the trip to the Rio Grande Valley to work with Marquez personally.
Last year, Dr. Ryan M. DeCoons travelled from Macon, Georgia to learn robotic surgery on a patient using the Navio robotic technology. Dr Marquez is only one of a handful of surgeons in the United States that uses the equipment for partial knee surfacing.
Dr. DeCoons came to the Valley to observe, and in the process learn how to operate the new technology for patients back home in Georgia.
Dr. Alberto Gregori from Scotland also flew into the Rio Grande Valley in 2015 for training on partial knee resurfacing. During that time, Dr. Marquez taught Dr. Gregori the basic skills needed to operate the Navio technology used during partial knee replacements.
Dr. Marquez also travels to locations across the globe for training sessions with other surgeons.
“Dr. Marquez traveled to Istanbul late last year to provide peer-to-peer training on the Navio technology,” said Prof. Burak Beksac, who resides in Istanbul, Turkey. “I then traveled to Texas to spend time with him in his OR to observe Navio robotic partial knee cases. His assistance and experience are much appreciated.”
Born and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Marquez received his M.D. in medicine at the University of La Salle and completed his internship at the American British Cowdray Hospital, Mexico City, in 1978. He finished his Fellowship in Orthopaedic Surgery/Spinal Cord Monitoring at the University of Ottawa in Canada and completed his residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Toronto, Canada in 1986.
A passion for technology and patients’ well being drive Dr Marquez to the forefront of advanced orthopedics, which in turn creates a desire to inform his patients – not just prescribe.
“You just don’t become my patient, you become my friend,” Dr. Marquez said. “I am very passionate about what I do. I love to do this. I think a big part of it is showing the new technology and how it works.”