Frequently Asked Questions

What is Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery?

Minimally Invasive Surgery (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 reduced trauma to the patient.

Why choose us for robotic surgery?

Saint Joseph's team of robotic surgeons has acquired a level of expertise in robotic surgery seen in few programs of its kind. In 2002, Saint Joseph's became the first hospital in Georgia – and one of only a few in the nation – to perform robotic, totally-endoscopic, closed-chest heart surgery. In 2004, Saint Joseph's was named the exclusive training center in the Southeast for the da Vinci robotic surgery system. As one of only five training sites in the world for the da Vinci Surgical System, physicians from throughout the southeast and around the world are trained in the techniques of minimally invasive robotic surgery by Saint Joseph's physicians.

What robotic procedures do you offer patients?

Saint Joseph's Visconti Center for Robotics offers patients the latest in minimally-invasive surgical approaches through the use of the da Vinci surgical system from Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Saint Joseph's is one of the few hospitals in the nation to offer robotic surgery for patients undergoing a wide variety of cardiac, thoracic, urological, gynecological and oncology procedures.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery compared to traditional methods of surgery?

Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using the da Vinci Surgical System over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.

Is robotic surgery more expensive and will my health insurance pay for the procedure?

In many cases, a robotic surgery procedure is less expensive since typically the required hospital stay is much shorter due to faster recovery, which also means less time away from work. Insurance provides coverage for indicated robotic surgery just like any other covered service.

What's the best way to schedule an appointment or to obtain more information?

Call 1-877-250-STJO (7856)

Why do we need a new way to do minimally invasive surgery?

Despite the widespread use of minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery in today's hospitals, adoption of laparoscopic techniques, for the most part, has been limited to a few routine procedures. This is due mostly to the limited capabilities of traditional laparoscopic technology, including standard video and rigid instruments, which surgeons must rely on to operate through small incisions. In traditional open surgery, the physician makes a long incision and then widens it to access the anatomy. In traditional minimally invasive surgery - which is widely used for routine procedures -- the surgeon operates using rigid, hand-operated instruments, which are passed through small incisions and views the anatomy on a standard video monitor. Neither this laparoscopic instrumentation nor the video monitor can provide the surgeon with the excellent visualization needed to perform complex surgery like coronary artery bypass, valve repair or nerve-sparing prostatectomy.

Has the da Vinci Surgical System been cleared by the FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for a wide range of procedures.

Will the da Vinci Surgical System make the surgeon unnecessary?

On the contrary, the da Vinci System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The System replicates the surgeon's movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon's input. The Saint Joseph's Visconti Center for Robotics has world renowned surgeons who are experts in performing this surgery.