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What is robotic surgery?

Robot-assisted surgery gives you a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. Instead of one large incision, your surgeon will operate through a few tiny incisions—allowing for faster recovery with less pain, scarring and blood loss than regular surgery. Robotic surgery may also be an option if you’re not a candidate for traditional surgery.

Robot-assisted surgery gives your doctor better vision and enhanced skills in the operating room. During the procedure, your surgeon remains in complete control and uses highly flexible 3D cameras that provide a high definition view. This view far exceeds what’s visible to the human eye during traditional surgery.

Your surgeon also manipulates delicate tools to access hard-to-reach areas of your body more easily while improving hand and wrist motion. These robotic instruments provide a range of motion and level of precision that the human hand cannot.

Our approach

At Northwell Health, our highly trained surgeons are leading the way in the use of the revolutionary, minimally invasive da Vinci® robotic surgery system across all aspects of general surgery, including:

  • Solid organ robotic surgery—liver, spleen and pancreas
  • GI tract robotic surgery—esophagus, stomach, small and large bowel, obesity surgery, surgery for treatment of GERD and hiatal hernia, as well as pelvic floor dysfunction, including rectal prolapse

The general robotic surgeons at Northwell Health are the first in Nassau County to perform these types of surgeries:

  • Whipple procedure—a complex operation for pancreatic cancer
  • Esophagectomy—removes all or part of the esophagus due to cancer
  • Splenectomy—removal of the cysts and tumors in the spleen
  • Adrenalectomy—removal of tumors in the adrenal glands

What to expect

The da Vinci robotic surgery platform consists of two key components:

  • The surgeon's console, where the surgeon sits and controls the robot
  • The patient-side cart, where four robotic arms are connected to various surgical instruments

Sitting at the main console of the da Vinci robotic surgery platform, your surgeon sees vital anatomical structures magnified to six times their normal size, with 3D high definition clarity. This enhanced clarity of vision sets the stage for a more precise robotic surgery procedure.

The surgeon uses master controls to guide the delicate actions of the robotic surgical instruments. One of the major advantages of the da Vinci surgery system is the tremendous range of motion of the robotic EndoWrist® instruments. They are designed with seven degrees of motion that mimic the motions of the human hand and wrist. Da Vinci robotic surgery essentially eliminates tremors and maximizes dexterity, precision and control.


In comparison to traditional open surgical procedures, the state-of-the-art da Vinci robotic surgery system results in exceptional benefits for patients, including:

  • Tiny 1-cm incisions instead of one large incision
  • Fewer major post-op complications
  • Optimal recovery
  • Quick return to normal diet
  • Reduced appearance of scarring
  • Low blood loss
  • Shorter length of stay in hospital
  • Faster return to normal daily activities
  • Fewer complications
  • Less pain than an open surgery
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