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da Vinci Surgery

da Vinci Surgical System®

The da Vinci Surgical System® allows surgeons to operate using much smaller incisions than in traditional surgery. The system's enhanced high resolution three dimensional imaging system allows surgeons to perform delicate procedures with a greater range of motion, control and precision. Surgeons operate from the robotic console and are in control of the instruments and the procedure at all times. Not all surgery is suitable for this kind of technique, but the range of options is increasing.

At McLaren Greater Lansing , daVinci® Surgical System procedures include:

  • Gynecology Surgery: hysterectomies (removal of uterus), myomectomies (removal of fibroids), sacrocolpolpexies (vaginal wall suspension), uterine suspensions, endometriosis resections, sterilizations.
  • Colorectal Surgery: for cases of colon, rectal cancer, diverticulitis.
  • General Surgery: Nissen Fundoplication (acid reflux surgey), Hellers Myotomy (swallowing disorder), Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), Gastrectomy (stomach cancer surgery.
  • Hernia Surgery: minimally invasive approach to hernia repair .
  • Urology Surgery: Prostatectomies (prostate cancer surgery), Nephrectomies (kidney disease/cancer surgery) Pyeloplasty (Urninary obstruction surgery).
da Vinci Robotic Surgery

Cardiothoracic Procedures Performed through da Vinci Surgical System®

Cardiothoracic surgery refers to surgery on the heart, lungs or esophagus. When medication and catheter-based treatments cannot relieve symptoms, surgery is the recommended treatment for many cardiothoracic conditions, including but not limited to mitral valve prolapse, atrial septal defect and coronary artery disease. Mitral valve prolapse is when one or both of the flaps that are supposed to open and close to control blood flow to the heart do not work properly and allows small amounts of blood to flow backwards into the heart valve. Atrial septal defect is a defect between the left and right chambers of the heart that is congenital - you are born the condition. And, coronary artery disease occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart become hard and narrow because cholesterol and plaque buildup in the inner walls of the artery(ies).  

Facing traditional cardiac surgery or open surgery to treat disorders in the chest cavity can be a frightening experience. It may be difficult to focus on next steps but you may have several choices to make, such as which hospital and surgeon to go to, and which procedure to choose. Learning as much as possible about your options, including minimally invasive alternatives to open surgery may ease some of your concerns.

Surgery is generally the most effective way to treat disorders of the heart, lungs and esophagus. But traditional open surgery has a number of drawbacks caused primarily by the large incision required, splitting the breastbone and spreading the ribs to access the chest cavity. In addition to an 8 to 10" scar down the center of your chest, splitting of the breastbone leads to a long recovery time of eight to twelve weeks as well as a long delay before you will return to normal daily activities.

Fortunately, less invasive options are available for patients facing cardiothoracic surgery. Many cardiothoracic surgeons now recognize the benefits of small incisions made between the ribs to perform coronary bypass or make repairs to the heart or esophagus by using thoracoscopy - the insertion of a miniaturized video camera between the ribs. But this approach has limitations and is not often appropriate for more complex cardiac procedures.

Robotic-Assisted Procedures 

  • Bilateral IMA mobilization
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)
  • Lobe resection
  • Heller myotomy
  • Lymph node biopsy
  • Mediasteinal mass removal
  • Mitral valve replacement
  • Paraesophageal hernia repair
  • Wedge resection

Robotic Surgery Risks

As with all types of surgeries, there are risks associated with robotic surgeries and results vary from person to person. Be sure to talk about your specific situation with your physician and surgeon before deciding if robotic-assisted surgery is right for you. 

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Gynecologic Procedures Performed through da Vinci Surgical System®


Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that occurs most often in women between the ages of 25 and 40. It occurs when tissue, like that which lines the uterus, is found outside the uterus – usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

  • Pain before and during periods
  • Pain with sex
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Painful urination during periods
  • Painful bowel movements during periods
  • Other gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea

A leading treatment for endometriosis is robotic-assisted endometrial ablations. Advantages of robotic-assisted surgery include less bleeding, lower risk of infection, less pain and minimal scarring. Patients usually experience a faster recovery. In most cases, the patient goes home the same day and is able to get back to normal daily activity much sooner than with traditional surgery.


The surgical removal of the uterus, is the second most common surgery among women in the United States. Typically, with traditional surgery, this operation means a hospital stay of three days and up to six weeks of recovery time.

At McLaren, surgeons are getting women back to their normal routines faster using a superior robotic surgical system. With the hospital's advanced daVinci® robotics, surgeons are able to make only small incisions in the patient's abdomen.

That's because the robotics platform has tiny instruments that replicate the movements of the human wrist, allowing the surgeon to make more precise, fine movements. These special instruments -- in miniature scale -- allow for an even greater range of motion than the human hand.

The system also projects a 3-D, high-definition image of what's going on inside the body during the procedure. Surgeons say the image of the patient's anatomy is actually clearer than with the naked eye.

Robotic tools help with even the most complicated surgeries for severe endometriosis or extensive pelvic scarring from a previous surgery.

With a robotically performed hysterectomy, patients can typically return to work in about two weeks.


A procedure that allows a woman to have fibroids or tumors removed from the uterus without losing her ability to become pregnant. The advanced robotic instruments are especially suited to this type of procedure, allowing the surgeon to make only a small incision in the abdomen.


A complex procedure to correct uterine prolapse. The procedure supports the uterus by suspending the walls of the vagina from the back of the pelvis. In the past, hysterectomy was the recommended for prolapse treatment, but today, most doctors recommend that the uterus be re-suspended. The minimally invasive procedure using the da Vinci system is the gold standard for this type of surgery. To learn more about the procedure and our physicians that perform it, click here.

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Thoracic Procedures Performed through da Vinci Surgical System®

da Vinci Lobectomy (Non-small cell lung cancer)

If you’ve been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, your doctor will discuss all treatment and surgical options with you. He/she may suggest surgery to remove part of your lung (lobe). The operation is called a lobectomy. It can be done using open surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

At McLaren, our surgeons offer minimally invasive robotic-assisted thoracic surgery, providing patients with a superior alternative to open surgery.

While surgery is generally the most effective way to treat disorders of the lungs and esophagus, traditional open surgery has a number of drawbacks caused primarily by the large incision required. Open thoracic surgery also spreads the ribs to access the chest cavity, leading to long recovery times of eight to twelve weeks as well as a long delay before returning to normal daily activities.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

One minimally invasive surgical option is thoracoscopy, also called video-assisted thoracic surgery or VATS. Doctors insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments into your chest through small incisions. The camera sends images to a video screen to guide doctors as they operate. Another minimally invasive option for patients facing lobectomy is da Vinci® Surgery.

McLaren's surgeons operate using advanced da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgical technology and the most advanced thoracic surgical procedures, making a few small incisions without splitting the breastbone or separating the ribs. Using magnified 3D high-definition and special instruments, McLaren physicians operate with enhanced vision, precision and control.

The Minimally Invasive Advantage

McLaren has the expert physicians and state-of-the-art technology to be region's source for robotic-assisted thoracic surgery. This gives our patients access to better outcomes, including minimal scarring, less pain and bleeding, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and a faster recovery compared to traditional surgery.

Benefits of da Vinci® assisted lobectomy can include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter chest tube duration
  • Less or similar rate of blood loss and/or transfusions
  • Smaller incisions for less scarring
  • Shorter/similar hospital stay

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Urology Procedures Performed through da Vinci Surgical System®

The Disease:  Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.  The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.  It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder).  The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

davinci prostatectomy

Approximately 16% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life.  Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient's age and general health.  With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining.

Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling cancer victims to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment.  Consult with your doctor for advice on the options that are available to treat your specific condition.

The Surgical Treatment:  Radical Prostatectomy

One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as radical prostatectomy.  Traditional radical prostatectomy requires a large, 8 - 10 inch incision.  This open surgery commonly results in substantial blood loss, a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery and the risk of impotence and incontinence.

Prostatectomy incisions

da Vinci Prostatectomy:  A Less Invasive Surgical Procedure

If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for a new, less-invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Prostatectomy.  This procedure incorporates a state-of-the-art surgical system that helps your surgeon see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise surgical procedure.

For most patients, da Vinci Prostatectomy offers numerous potential benefits over open prostatectomy including:

Surgery image
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and transfusions
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

As with any surgical procedures, these benefits cannot be guaranteed as surgery is both patient and procedure specific.

The Enabling Technology:  da Vinci Surgical System®

The da Vinci Surgical System® is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology.  The System allows your surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movement of micro-instruments within the operative site.

The da Vinci System® enhances surgical capabilities by enabling the performance of complex surgeries through tiny surgical openings.  The System cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions on its own.  The da Vinci System requires that every surgical maneuver be performed with direct input from your surgeon.

The da Vinci Surgical System® has been successfully used in thousands of prostate cancer procedures worldwide.

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