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Robotic Surgery

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A major breakthrough in minimally invasive surgery

Robotic surgery—also called robotic-assisted surgery—is a proven technique in which a surgeon performs minimally invasive surgery using a computer console to control very small instruments and a high-resolution camera attached to robotic arms.

Some benefits of robotic surgery may include shorter hospital stays, less pain and a lower risk for infection due to the less invasive nature of the procedure.

Several Baylor Scott & White Health Medical Centers offer robot-assisted surgery services, including da Vinci robotic surgery, a major breakthrough in minimally invasive surgical capabilities, that uses the da Vinci® Surgical System.

Your Guide to Surgery

Our guide offers information about what you can expect before, during and after surgery

Benefits of robotic surgery

Robot-assisted surgery gives your surgeon greater precision and control over the surgical instruments than is possible with human movement alone. Compared to open surgery, benefits of robotic surgery can include:

  • Less pain and blood loss
  • Less scarring, due to tiny surgical incisions
  • Shorter recovery time and hospital stay
  • Quicker return to your daily activities
  • Lower rate of surgical complications​
  • More precise implant placement

Introducing the da Vinci Surgical System

The da Vinci Surgical System is used for minimally invasive surgeries treating complex conditions, such as cardiac, thoracic, gynecological, urologic, and head and neck procedures. The da Vinci system has four arms to hold a camera, two instruments, a 3D high-definition vision system and foot pedals. During a da Vinci robotic surgery, the surgeon manipulates the arms and instruments with controls that can be adjusted by small degrees of precision. Each instrument contains a tiny camera that can bend and rotate, which enables the surgeon to view low-visibility areas.


A doctor places his hand under a patient

Conditions​​ treated

Robot-assisted surgery is available as an alternative to traditional open and laparoscopic surgeries for many conditions, including:

  • Colon and ​​R​​ectal
  • General Surgery​
  • Gynecolo​​gy
  • Hip and Knee
  • Thorac​​ic
  • Urol​​​ogy

Colon and ​​R​​ectal

  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis of the intestine
  • Rectal prolapse

General Surgery​

  • Adrenal gland tumors (benign)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gallstones
  • Hernia repair (hiatal and inguinal hernias)
  • Obesity


  • Endometriosis
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Uterine conditions requiring a hysterectomy
  • Uterine fibroids (benign tumors)
  • Vaginal prolapse

Hip and Knee

  • Total knee replacement​
  • Partial knee replacement
  • Total hip replacement​
  • Partial hip replacement
  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Shoulder joint replacement​
  • Shoulder arthroscopy


  • Some kinds of lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal diverticula (pouches)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Achalasia (swallowing disorder)
  • Mediastinal cysts and tumors (in the middle of the chest area)
  • Myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder)


  • Prostate cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Urinary obstruction
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder diverticulum

Frequently asked questions

Robotic surgery is an innovative, minimally invasive technique that uses long thin instruments to perform precise operations with the aid of computers. This provides surgeons greater visibility and control while reducing some risks associated with traditional operating procedures.

More than 2 million surgical procedures have been performed worldwide using robotic technology, according to the American Society of Robotics.

The first robotic-assisted surgery occurred in a non-clinical environment by NASA scientists in 1987. In 2000, the da Vinci Surgical System was introduced to the market.

Many conditions can be treated using robotic surgery, including colon and rectal conditions, like colon cancer; general surgery, including hernia repair; gynecological conditions, such as uterine conditions requiring a hysterectomy; hip and knee conditions that may require total replacement; some kinds of lung cancer; and prostate cancer, among many others.

The benefits of robotic or robotic-assisted surgery may include shorter hospital stays, less loss during surgery, a lower risk of infections due to the less invasive nature of the procedure and potentially shorter recovery times and less post-surgery pain. Talk to your doctor about which kind of surgery is better for you.

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