What is the daVinci® Surgical System?

The daVinci® Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic platform that makes it possible to perform complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The system provides surgeons with more advanced movement than can be achieved manually as well as enhanced vision and a higher level of precision. This technology is used in various surgical specialties because it reduces blood loss, reduces pain, requires shorter hospital stays, and helps with recovering faster. Manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the daVinci® Surgical System represents one of the most advanced forms of robotic-assisted surgery available today. A staple in leading hospitals worldwide, it has been used to perform over 10 million procedures since receiving FDA approval in 2000. The system has undergone numerous iterations and continues to be improved based on feedback from surgeons and patients alike.

The technology consists of:

Surgical Arms

with wrists and tiny instruments at the tip.


Special Camera

that provides enhanced magnified 3D views of the surgical area.


Surgical Console

where the surgeon controls the instruments and camera's every movement.

Advantages of Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgeries have numerous advantages for patients and surgeons, which is why it has quickly become the preferred choice and new standard for many surgeons.

Better Visualization

A sophisticated camera provides a magnified high-definition 3D view of the surgical area to the surgeon at the console compared to the normal 2D view provided by traditional laparoscopy. The increase in visualization capabilities makes robotic surgery an effective option for operating on many types of difficult procedures without making major incisions.

Greater Precision

The robotic arms movements are more exact than the human hand, and their range of motion is greater. They can rotate instruments in tight spaces that cannot be done with the human hand, as with open surgery, and can provide a much greater range of motion than traditional laparoscopic surgery. With greater precision, surgeons can perform complex surgeries through smaller incisions and less tissue damage. Additionally, these procedures often require less postoperative recovery time because there is less trauma to the patient’s body.

SureForm Stapling Technology

The daVinci® Surgical System uses its artificial intelligence to sense and measure the thickness of the tissue before firing the staples, giving immediate feedback to the surgeon that the staple height and selection are correct. If not correct, it then alerts the surgeon so the correct staple may be used – this ensures proper technical stapling every time. This is critical in bowel stapling cases like gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and other bowel cases.

Less Complicated Recovery

Most patients having robotic surgery have less pain during recovery, lower risk of infection, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and smaller scars. Due to all these benefits, many surgeons, like Dr. Drew Howard, are using this technology in their practices today. Surgeons performing robot-assisted surgeries have found that using robotic assistance has been a game changer for their surgical practice because it allows them to perform complicated procedures more efficiently while reducing complications and risks for their patients.

Common Surgical Procedures Performed with Robot Assistance

Dr. Howard performed his first robotic surgery in 2014, and with the recent addition of the SureForm stapler, he has incorporated robotic-assisted surgery into his bariatric procedures. This has allowed Dr. Howard to become the number one robotic bariatric surgeon by volume per year in the Houston area.

Other common procedures that can be performed using the daVinci® Surgical System:


Dr. Howard has been using robot-assisted technology to improve surgical techniques and outcomes for his patients in numerous situations. He takes pride in providing personalized care tailored to each patient’s needs.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery is Available in The Woodlands

If you have been diagnosed with a condition that requires a surgical procedure, you might be a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Drew Howard to learn more about robot-assisted surgery and your options for surgery.

Request an Appointment with Dr. Howard