Benefits of Robotic Surgery

The Great Falls Clinic Hospital recently invested in a da Vinci Xi ™ Surgical System – expanding robotic surgery options in our community. What does that mean? And what is the da Vinci Surgical System?

The da Vinci Surgical System is a tool that utilizes advanced, robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist our surgeon with your operation. It does not act on its own and its movements are controlled by the surgeon directly. The da Vinci Surgical System has a 3D high definition (3D-HD) vision system, special instruments and computer software that allow your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. The 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on. The da Vinci

Nurse assisting with daVinci Xi robotic surgery System
Nurse assisting with daVinci Xi System

instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist – allowing your surgeon to make small, precise movements inside your body. And, da Vinci software can minimize the effects of a surgeon’s hand tremors on instrument movements.

So how can a robot help me?

da Vinci Surgery is a less invasive technique than what is referred to as “open” surgery. With da Vinci Surgery, the cuts (incisions) made in your body by your surgeon are much smaller than the cut made during open surgery. da Vinci Surgery is therefore considered “minimally invasive surgery.” Studies of da Vinci Surgery have shown the following benefits in comparison to open surgery:

  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less need for narcotic pain medicine
  • A faster recovery
  • Smaller incisions associated with minimal scarring

Since its introduction, da Vinci Surgery has greatly reduced the number of open surgeries for common operations such as hysterectomy and prostatectomy. Due to the da Vinci technology, more patients have been offered minimally invasive surgery than at any other time in history. For more information about clinical evidence related to da Vinci Surgery, please visit

When would a da Vinci robotic system be used?

The da Vinci robot may be used in the following specialty areas:

  • Urologic surgery
  • General laparoscopic surgery
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Some types of heart surgery

da Vinci Systems are used on adults in the specialties lists above and they are also used in pediatric surgery, except for conditions affecting the head and neck.

About the da Vinci® Xi™ System

The Great Falls Clinic Hospital purchased the latest addition to the da Vinci® product line: The da Vinci® Xi™ System. The newly refined da Vinci Xi System has broader capabilities than prior generations of the da Vinci System. It can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for multi-quadrant surgeries (procedures in which instruments must be able to reach up and down and across the abdomen and chest).

Compared to prior da Vinci Systems, the new Xi System’s key features include:

  • A new overhead instrument arm architecture designed to facilitate anatomical access from virtually any position.
  • A new endoscope digital architecture that creates a simpler, more compact design with improved visual definition and clarity.
  • An ability to attach the endoscope to any arm, providing flexibility for visualizing the surgical site.
  • Smaller, thinner arms with newly designed joints that offer a greater range of motion than ever before.
  • Longer instruments shafts designed to give surgeons greater operative reach

For more information, please visit