What to expect on the day of robotic-assisted surgery

What to expect with robotic-assisted surgery

Every day, thousands of people have a robotic-assisted procedure with the da Vinci surgical system. If you or a loved one will soon be one of them, it’s helpful for you to understand what robotic-assisted surgery is and what to expect the day of surgery. Because every patient and surgery is unique, be sure to ask your care team about your particular surgery.

Planning and preparation before surgery

The most important thing you can do before surgery is to talk to your surgeon and follow all instructions from your care team. Here’s a list of additional ideas to help you get ready for surgery day.

  • Follow all care team instructions: Your surgery care team will provide a list of important instructions to follow before and after surgery. If you haven’t received a list, ask for one. 
  • Check your insurance coverage: To avoid unexpected medical bills, talk to your health insurance provider about your upcoming surgery. Find out what your insurance covers and if you need any preauthorizations. 
  • Prepare for limitations after surgery: Knowing what you may or may not be able to do after surgery (i.e. lifting, walking, driving, etc.) can help you make arrangements for at-home care, transportation, food, childcare, pet care, and other tasks of daily living. 
  • Pack a bag: If you may be staying at the hospital overnight, bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal items you will need. Leave your valuables, such as your watch and jewelry, at home.
  • Dress for comfort: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for your surgery appointment.
  • Get ready for check-in: Bring your identification, insurance cards, a copy of your Advance Directive, if needed, and a form of payment to cover any copayments that may be required by your insurance.

Prepare for your recovery

Your doctor may share a post-surgery checklist, but no two people are alike. Be sure to tell your doctor about your situation—your work and family demands, exercise habits, and activities that are important to you. By being specific, your doctor can let you know what you’ll need to do differently during recovery and when you can expect to get back to normal activities. Here are questions you can ask.


What kind of care will I need when I get home? Will I need someone to stay with me full time? Will my care provider need to be able to lift me from a chair or bed?


How long does post-surgery pain typically last? What do I need to know about pain management medications? 


Will I have any food or drink restrictions and for how long? Are there foods you recommend?


What activity restrictions do I need to be aware of, i.e, sitting in a chair, lifting, having sex, climbing stairs?

Getting back to normal

How long before I can return to work or resume my usual activities?


How long before I can start exercising again? 

Robotic-assisted surgery areas

There are a number of different areas of the body where a surgeon can use the da Vinci surgical system. Learn about the types of procedures performed with the da Vinci system and their outcomes.

Planning your surgery during COVID-19

In this extraordinary time, taking care of your health and emotional wellness is a top priority. To help your peace of mind as you plan for your upcoming surgery, here are some questions you may want to ask your care team.

Questions to ask

Disclosures and Important Safety Information

Important Safety Information

Patients should talk to their doctors to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision. 

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques, which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For important safety information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety

Individuals' outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and/or surgeon experience.

Da Vinci Xi System Precaution Statement

The demonstration of safety and effectiveness for the specific procedure(s) discussed in this material was based on evaluation of the device as a surgical tool and did not include evaluation of outcomes related to the treatment of cancer (overall survival, disease-free survival, local recurrence) or treatment of the patient’s underlying disease/condition. Device usage in all surgical procedures should be guided by the clinical judgment of an adequately trained surgeon.

Medical Advice and Locating a Doctor

Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Other options may be available and appropriate. Only a doctor can determine whether da Vinci surgery is appropriate for a patient’s situation. Patients and doctors should review all available information on both non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision.

Surgeons who perform surgery using the da Vinci system can be found using the Surgeon Locator. Intuitive Surgical provides surgeons with training on the use of the da Vinci system but does not certify, credential or qualify the surgeons listed in the Surgeon Locator.

Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical or their respective owners. See www.intuitive.com/trademarks

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