minimally invasive surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Minimally Invasive Surgery

Your questions answered

Q: What is minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?
A: MIS is surgery typically performed through small incisions, or operating ports, rather than large incisions, resulting in potentially shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced hospitalization costs and less trauma to the patient. While MIS has become the standard of care for some surgical procedures, MIS isn't the right choice for every surgery.

Q: Does the robotic system replace the surgeon?
A: Not at all. In fact, the robotic system enables surgeons to be more precise with their technique. This allows them to perform complex surgeries using minimally invasive surgery.

The system replicates the surgeon's movements in real time. It cannot be programmed to move on its own. The surgeon is always in direct control. The system does not make decisions.

Q: Is a surgeon using the robotic system operating in "virtual reality"?
A: Thanks to a miniature video camera, the surgeon views the actual surgical field where he is operating in real time. The surgeon has a high-resolution, 3D view of the surgical area and never sees a "virtual" image. Surgery is done through tiny incisions using miniature instruments. The system cannot be programmed to perform any maneuver on its own. The surgeon is always in direct, real-time control.

Q: What are the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?
A: Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons include:

  • Greater surgical precision.
  • Increased range of motion.
  • Improved dexterity.
  • Enhanced view of the surgical area.

Benefits experienced by patients may include:

  • Shorter hospital stays.
  • Less pain and risk of infection.
  • Fewer transfusions due to less blood loss.
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities.

These benefits cannot be guaranteed because outcomes are as unique as the patients and the surgeries they're having.

Q: Is robotic-assisted surgery covered by insurance?
A: Any insurance that covers MIS generally covers our robotic-assisted surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare. As any surgery, your coverage will depend on your specific benefits package.

Q: Has the FDA cleared the da Vinci Surgical System?
A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for a wide range of procedures. Refer to the FDA Clearance page for specific clearances and representative uses.