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Robotic surgery program

Minimally invasive robotic surgery

When you’re diagnosed with a condition requiring surgery or require specific diagnostic procedures, you may be a candidate for a robotic-assisted surgery or procedure. 

Choose Allina Health, a regional leader in robot-assisted surgery. Your specialized care team and expert surgeon will support you with comfort, compassion and exceptional care every step of the way. Our goal is to get you back to your routine and the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible while prioritizing your safety.

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Modern approaches from an experienced team

Allina Health is recognized as a regional leader in robotic surgery across multiple specialties, performing more than 3,200 robotic procedures a year using modern technology. 

The Robotic Surgery and Technology Program at Allina Health offers the best possible options in minimally invasive and robotic surgery. Robotic-assisted surgeries and procedures can improve health outcomes and improve your experience.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery, or robotic-assisted surgery, uses a robot to help your surgeon perform surgery. During surgery, your surgeon looks through a camera to see a 3-D, up-close image of the surgery site. He or she uses a special computer to control surgical instruments with robotic arms.  

Allina Health uses surgery instruments that can move in ways a human hand can’t, making it possible to perform surgery with smaller incisions. 

Types of robotic surgery

Allina Health offers several types of robotic surgery, including: 

  • Da Vinci robotic surgery is available at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, United Hospital and Mercy Hospital. The surgery is for general surgeries and conditions affecting the heart, colon, uterus (womb), head, neck, chest, kidney, hernia repair, gall bladder, bladder and prostate.  
  • Mako robotic surgery is available at Buffalo Hospital and Abbott NorthWestern – WestHealth. The surgery focuses on knee and hip joint conditions.  
  • CORI robotic surgery is available at Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus. It covers advanced knee damage and total and partial knee replacements.
  • Mazor X spine robotic surgery is available at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. The surgery helps ensure safer and more efficient spine surgeries and reduces radiation exposure.  
  • Auris Monarch surgery assists with interventional pulmonary (lung) procedures. 

Robotic surgery benefits

Robot-assisted surgery is a safe and minimally invasive procedure, allowing your surgeon to perform complex incisions with enhanced precision.  

The benefits of robotic surgery include:  

  • smaller incisions and scars 
  • lower chance of infection 
  • shorter hospital stay and recovery time 
  • improved health outcomes
  • lower medical costs
  • faster return to your everyday activities.  

When to get robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is for procedures requiring more flexibility and enhanced visibility of the surgery site. Talk with your health care provider about your options and if robot-assisted surgery is right for you.  

Whether you have an enlarged prostate, uterine fibroids or another condition that requires surgery, robotic surgery offers many potential benefits, including shorter hospital stays and a faster return to daily activities. 

Robotic surgery is most commonly used to treat problems affecting the:  

  • head and neck 
  • hip or knee 
  • prostate  
  • kidney 
  • heart 
  • esophagus (GERD surgery)
  • lungs
  • bladder 
  • kidney (removal or transplant) 
  • uterus 
  • spine  
  • gastrointestinal tract (colon, stomach, intestines and esophagus)
  • prostate.

Preparing for robotic surgery

Arrange to have someone drive you home. You will not be able to drive after the surgery.    

Check with your health care provider if you are taking blood-thinning medicines (aspirin, Jantoven®, Plavix® or Ticlid®). You may need to stop taking them before surgery. Your health care provider will tell you how long to be off these medicines. 

Tell your health care provider if you:  

  • are pregnant  
  • have a latex allergy  
  • have diabetes  
  • are taking any prescription and over-the-counter medicines, herbals or vitamins.   

Do not drink any alcohol or use tobacco products 24 hours before your surgery.  

Remove any jewelry or piercings. 

Recovering from robotic surgery

Your recovery time depends on the type of surgery and varies from person to person. 

Your health care team will keep you comfortable and help manage your pain before, during and after surgery as you recover. Everyone experiences pain differently and the recovery timeline may vary.  

Your health care team will create a treatment plan unique to your needs. Take any prescription or over-the-counter medicine as directed. 

Robotic surgery risks

Your safety is our priority. While all procedures come with risks, robotic surgeries are typically safer than traditional surgeries. Your health care provider won’t recommend surgery unless the benefits outweigh the potential risks.  

While rare, risks and complications may include:  

  • stroke or heart attack 
  • infection 
  • organ or short-term nerve damage 
  • blood clots or a large amount of blood loss 
  • temporary swelling of tissue 
  • robotic malfunction leading to a more traditional surgical approach 
  • death. 

Insurance coverage and costs

Contact your health insurance provider about medical coverage and get a price estimate before scheduling robot-assisted surgery. You will pay any deductible amounts and any charges your policy doesn’t cover.

Related links

First published: 1/8/2020
Last reviewed: 1/8/2020

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