FAQs

Below are commonly asked questions about Northside's robotic surgery program. To view the answer to any of the questions, click on the question to jump to the answer.

Questions:

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)?

MIS is surgery typically performed through small incisions, or operating ports, rather than large incisions, resulting in potentially shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced hospitalization costs and reduced trauma to the patient. While MIS has become standard-of-care for particular surgical procedures, it has not been widely adopted for more complex or delicate procedures - for example, prostatectomy and mitral valve repair.

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Why do we need a new way to do minimally invasive surgery?

A. Despite the widespread use of minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery in today's hospitals, adoption of laparoscopic techniques, for the most part, has been limited to a few routine procedures. This is due mostly to the limited capabilities of traditional laparoscopic technology, including standard video and rigid instruments, which surgeons must rely on to operate through small incisions.

In traditional open surgery, the physician makes a long incision and then widens it to access the anatomy. In traditional minimally invasive surgery - which is widely used for routine procedures -- the surgeon operates using rigid, hand-operated instruments, which are passed through small incisions and views the anatomy on a standard video monitor. Neither this laparoscopic instrumentation nor the video monitor can provide the surgeon with the excellent visualization needed to perform complex surgery like valve repair or nerve-sparing prostatectomy.

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What are the benefits of robot-assisted surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?

Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using the da Vinci ® Surgical System over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.

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Where is robot-assisted surgery being used at Northside Hospital?

Currently, The da Vinci ® Surgical System is being used at each of our three hospital campuses; Northside Hospital Atlanta, Northside Hospital Cherokee, and Northside Hospital Forsyth.

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Has the da Vinci ® Surgical System been cleared by the FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da Vinci ® Surgical System for a wide range of procedures. Please see the FDA Clearance page for specific clearances and representative uses.

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Is da Vinci ® Surgery covered by insurance?

da Vinci Surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, so any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers da Vinci ® Surgery. This is true for widely held insurance plans like Medicare.

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Will robotic surgery make the surgeon unnecessary?

On the contrary, the da Vinci ® System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The System replicates the surgeon's movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon's input.

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Robotic Surgery Information:
Atlanta (404) 851-8200


Northside Hospital – Atlanta
1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 851-8000


Northside Hospital – Cherokee
201 Hospital Road
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: (770) 720-5100


Northside Hospital – Forsyth
1200 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: (770) 844-3200



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