The da Vinci® Surgical System

The da Vinci® System has brought minimally invasive surgery to more than 3 million patients worldwide.

da Vinci robotic system in action © 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

What is the da Vinci® Surgical System?

The da Vinci® Surgical System is a tool that utilizes advanced, robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist your surgeon with your operation. It does not act on its own and its movements are controlled by your surgeon.

The da Vinci Surgical System has a 3D high definition (3D-HD) vision system, special instruments and computer software that allow your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on.

The da Vinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist – allowing your surgeon to make small, precise movements inside your body. And, da Vinci software can minimize the effects of a surgeon’s hand tremors on instrument movements.

video overview of the da Vinci surgical system

What is da Vinci Surgery and how can it help me?

da Vinci Surgery is a less invasive technique than what is referred to as “open” surgery. With da Vinci Surgery, the cuts (incisions) made in your body by your surgeon are much smaller than the cut made during open surgery. da Vinci Surgery is therefore considered “minimally invasive surgery.” Studies of da Vinci Surgery have shown the following benefits in comparison to open surgery:

• A shorter hospital stay1,2,3,4
• Less blood loss2,3,4,5
• Fewer complications2,3,4,6,7
• Less need for narcotic pain medicine1,6,8,9
• A faster recovery1,2,10,11
• Smaller incisions associated with minimal scarring3,5,6

incision comparison for benign hysterectomy © 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Since its introduction, da Vinci Surgery has greatly reduced the number of open surgeries for common operations (such as hysterectomy12). Thanks to da Vinci technology, more patients have been offered minimally invasive surgery (MIS) than at any other time in history.

For more information about clinical evidence related to da Vinci Surgery, please visit this link.

Important Safety Information

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Individual surgical results may vary. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. Please also refer to for Important Safety Information.

Surgical Risks

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci Surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

• Injury to tissues and/or organs
• Bleeding
• Infection
• Internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain

Patients should consider that risks of any surgery also include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Potential for human error
• Potential for equipment failure
• Potential for anesthesia complications

Individual surgical results may vary.

Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery, include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Temporary pain and/or nerve injury associated with positioning
• Temporary pain and/or discomfort from the use of air or gas in the procedure
• A longer operative time and time under anesthesia
• The need to convert the procedure to an open surgery
• Converting the procedure could result in a longer operative time, a longer time under anesthesia, and/or the need for additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications.

Clinical evidence

• With thousands of peer-reviewed publications examining the use of the da Vinci Surgical System in a wide range of surgeries, the breadth and depth of literature on surgery using the da Vinci Si or prior-generation systems is extensive. For a list of key studies, please visit this link.

• A growing body of research studying the da Vinci Si and/or prior-generation systems suggests that da Vinci Surgery is a cost-effective approach for a growing number of surgical procedures. Numerous studies demonstrate the cost benefits of robotic-surgery for appropriate procedures, as compared to open surgery. For more information, please visit this link.

• Recent clinical literature studying the da Vinci Si and/or prior-generation systems includes several studies that use national databases to evaluate thousands of patient's surgical outcomes. These studies compare da Vinci Surgery to non-robotic-assisted approaches for specific procedures, such as hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

• For hysterectomy, two representative studies on the da Vinci Si and/or prior-generation systems16,17 show that da Vinci Hysterectomy is safer than hysterectomy performed through an open incision and as safe as laparoscopy. These studies also show a shorter length of hospital stay for the group of women who were qualified to have a minimally invasive hysterectomy performed with either laparoscopy or da Vinci Surgery.

• Today, studies of the da Vinci Si and/or prior-generation systems show that da Vinci Surgery is clearly displacing traditional open surgery and reducing the complications and costs associated with it. For more information on the safety of da Vinci Surgery, please visit this link.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

The da Vinci® Surgical System imagery and text © 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc., manufacturer of the system. All rights reserved. Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. The information on this website is intended for a United States audience only.


1 Park JS, et al. S052: a comparison of robot-assisted, laparoscopic, and open surgery in the treatment of rectal cancer. Surg Endosc. 2011 Jan;25(1):240-8. Epub 2010 Jun 15
2 Poston RS, et al. Comparison of economic and patient outcomes with minimally invasive versus traditional off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting techniques. Ann Surg. 2008 Oct;248(4):638-46
3 Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), reporting to the Minister of Health-Ireland. Health technology assessment of robot-assisted surgery in selected surgical procedures, 21 September 2011
4 Landeen LB, et al. Clinical and cost comparisons for hysterectomy via abdominal, standard laparoscopic, vaginal and robot-assisted approaches. S D Med. 2011 Jun;64(6):197-9, 201, 203 passim
5 de Souza AL, et al. A comparison of open and robotic total mesorectal excision for rectal adenocarcinoma. Dis Colon Rectum. 2011 Mar;54(3):275-82
6 Cerfolio RJ, et al. Initial consecutive experience of completely portal robotic pulmonary resection with 4 arms. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Oct;142(4):740-6. Epub 2011 Aug 15
7 Shaligram A, et al. How does the robot affect outcomes? A retrospective review of open, laparoscopic, and robotic Heller myotomy for achalasia. Surg Endosc. 2012 Apr;26(4):1047-50. doi: 10.1007/s00464-011-1994-5. Epub 2011 Oct 25
8 Lowe MP, et al. A comparison of robot-assisted and traditional radical hysterectomy for early-stage cervical cancer. Journal of Robotic Surgery 2009:1-5
9 Menon M, et al. Prospective comparison of radical retropubic prostatectomy and robot-assisted anatomic prostatectomy: the Vattikuti Urology Institute experience. Urology. 2002 Nov;60(5):864-8
10 Bell MC, et al. Comparison of outcomes and cost for endometrial cancer staging via traditional laparotomy, standard laparoscopy, and robotic techniques. Gynecologic Oncology III 2008:407-411
11 Miller J, et al. Prospective evaluation of short-term impact and recovery of health related quality of life in men undergoing robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy versus open radical prostatectomy. J Urol. 2007 Sep;178(3 Pt 1):854-8; discussion 859. Epub 2007 Jul 16
12 Market share data on file at Intuitive Surgical
16 Lau et. al. "Outcomes and Cost Comparisons After Introducing a Robotics Program for Endometrial Cancer Surgery,” Obstetrics & Gynecology (2012), DOI: 10.1097/AOG.ob013e31824c0956
17 Wright et. al. "Robotically Assisted vs. Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Among Women With Benign Gynecologic Disease," JAMA 2013;309(7):689-698

da Vinci Si surgeon console
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Surgeon console: the doctor controls the surgical instruments from this console.

da Vinci Si patient cart
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Patient side cart: this contains the surgical instruments which are used during surgery.

da Vinci EndoWrist tip size compared with pencil eraser
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Comparing the instrument tip size with a pencil eraser.

da Vinci EndoWrist tip size compared with doctor's hand
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Comparing the instrument tip size with a doctor's hand.

da Vinci EndoWrist tip size compared with U.S. penny coin
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Comparing the instrument tip size with a penny.

da Vinci EndoWrist variety of tips
© 2018 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Surgeons have a variety of instrument tips which can be used with the da Vinci® Surgical System.