da Vinci® Surgical System


The da Vinci Surgical System, made by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., has changed the scope of surgery for patients all over the world. More than 3 million patients have experienced the latest in robotics and surgical technology with da Vinci, which is used in all 50 United States and in 64 countries.

Like the name suggests, the da Vinci Surgical System pays tribute to Leonardo da Vinci. An artist, philosopher, and inventor in the 15th century, da Vinci is known for studying human anatomy and for making advances in the topic. Leonardo da Vinci had an interest in automation and mechanics. He designed the first known robot in around 1495.

How the da Vinci Surgical System Works

The da Vinci Surgical System consists of small wristed instruments (such as a laparoscope) that are capable of bending and rotating much more than the human hand is able. The Surgical System also contains a high definition, 3-dimensional vision system.

Traditionally, laparoscopy surgery involves holding rigid instruments and the use of an endoscopic camera that projects the surgical area onto a monitor. The tools that are used have only four degrees of movement, and they move in the direction that is opposite of the surgeon’s hands due to pivot point design.

With the da Vinci Surgical System, three or four robotic arms perform the movements of the surgeon. Every move that your surgeon makes is translated into tiny, precise movements in your body—and the instruments that are used can rotate and bend. With this design, da Vinci allows your surgeon to operate with enhanced control, precision, and vision while remaining in complete control at all times. During the procedure, the surgeon sits on a specially designed ergonomic console where the 3-dimensional imagery is displayed (the display is also located on the Vision Cart).

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The da Vinci Surgical System’s effectiveness has been proven with numerous independent clinical studies. The clinical library of peer-reviewed publications about the da Vinci grows at a rate of over 150 publications each month, including systematic reviews, comparison studies, random studies, literature reviews, cadaver studies, case studies, and editorials.

Benefits of da Vinci

Peer-reviewed studies have shown that use of the da Vinci Surgical System has resulted in:

  • Fewer complications
  • Less blood loss
  • Smaller incisions
  • Minimal scarring
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery


The da Vinci Surgical System is useful for any complex procedure that could benefit from increased flexibility, control, and precision. In 2000, the da Vinci Surgical System became the first robotic-assisted surgical system that was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for general laparoscopic surgery. One use of the da Vinci Surgical System is transoral surgery, which refers to minimally invasive surgery that is performed through the mouth. This method is often used to remove benign and early or moderate stage throat tumors, which can form in any of the following areas:

  • Trachea (windpipe)
  • Larynx (voice box, vocal cords)
  • Nasopharynx (nasal cavities and tubes)
  • Oropharynx (soft plate, base of tongue)
  • Hypopharynx (sinuses, pharynx wall, postcricoid area)
  • Oral cavity: tongue, floor of mouth, gums, hard palate, inner lip)

Other uses for the da Vinci Surgical System include general, cardiac, colorectal, thoracic, and urologic surgery. The Surgical System may be used to remove cancers in other areas of the body, or to repair a hernia or mitral valve, for example. In urology, the da Vinci Surgical System has brought down the rate of open prostate removal surgeries from 95 percent to 12 percent—in only ten years.


The use of the da Vinci Surgical System allows surgeons to access areas for surgery with minimal complications. However, there are risks in any type of surgery, such as bleeding, changes to or loss of taste, difficulty swallowing, lip injury, and nerve injury.

Overall, the da Vinci Surgical System is safe, and is an important tool in helping both patients and surgeons. The surgeons who use the System are trained to use it safely and efficiently.

To learn more about da Vinci and its potential benefits, contact us today.