Intuitive for General Surgery Patients

Understand your general surgery options

Conditions of the abdomen and digestive tract

Within your abdomen are vital organs that make it possible for you to convert food into energy and nutrients to fuel your body. The organs of your digestive tract include your stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and intestines. When conditions affecting your digestive tract lower your quality of life, and if lifestyle changes, medicines, and other options don’t improve your symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Types of surgery

Couple jogging in the parkIn the past, surgeons made large incisions in skin and muscle so that they could directly see and work on the area of concern. This is called open surgery. Today doctors still perform open surgery, but can also perform many procedures in the abdomen and on the digestive tract, often called General Surgery, using minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci® technology.

Both minimally invasive approaches only require one or a few small incisions that doctors use to insert surgical equipment and a camera for viewing. In laparoscopic surgery, doctors use special long-handled tools to perform surgery while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.


What is a da Vinci system?

The da Vinci is a surgical system comprised of three components: surgeon console, patient-side cart, and vision cart.


Surgeon looking into da Vinci surgeon console in operating room


  Surgeons in Operating Room with the da Vinci system  

Surgeon console

The surgeon console is where your surgeon sits during the procedure, has a close-up 3D view of your anatomy, and controls the instruments. The instruments are “wristed” and move like a human hand, but with a far greater range of motion.


Patient cart

The patient-side cart is positioned near the patient on the operating table. It is where the instruments used during the operation move in real time in response to your surgeon’s hand movements at the surgeon console.


Vision cart

The vision cart makes communication between the components of the system possible and supports the latest 3D high-definition vision system.


It’s important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with da Vinci is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.

Robotic-assisted abdominal procedures

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • Ventral hernia repair
  • Acid reflux disease surgery (nissen fundoplication)
  • Stomach surgery (gastrectomy)
  • Pancreas surgery (pancreatectomy and pancreaticoduodenectomy/Whipple procedure)
  • Small bowel surgery
  • Spleen surgery (splenectomy)

Talk with your doctor if you have any additional questions about these procedures.

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Important Safety Information

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©2019 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. 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.


Website Disclaimer for and

This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.

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