Providence Robotic Surgery Program – Oregon

In the hands of experienced surgeons, robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery can mean less pain and trauma, easier recovery, fewer complications and a faster return to normal life for patients. Providence is committed to offering these advantages to our patients.

Robotic advancements have transformed the way we approach many procedures, improving surgical access and precision while reducing unnecessary pain and bleeding. As a result, many operations that previously required long surgeries and hospital stays now can be performed as outpatient procedures, with patients returning home in a few hours.

Our certified robotic surgeons offer a depth of experience that is unsurpassed in the region, including expertise in several areas:

  • Gynecology – hysterectomies and fibroid surgeries are performed in Portland by some of the most experienced robotic-certified surgeons in the region.
  • General and colorectal surgery – our general surgeons routinely treat abdominal hernias and reflux disease with robotics, and have extensive experience in robotic-assisted colorectal surgery.
  • Urology – Many robotic options for prostate, kidney and bladder conditions are offered at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent Medical Centers.

Our Facilities

Providence St. Vincent

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

  • Two robotic surgery suites, utilizing two da Vinci Xi systems
  • Has performed the largest number of robotic-assisted procedures in Oregon.
  • Has more experience in robotic-assisted procedures than any other hospital in the area

Providence Portland

Providence Portland Medical Center

  • Only PSJH facility in Oregon with two da Vinci Xi’s and a da Vinci SP system
  • First Community hospital in region to have da Vinci SP system
  • First hospital in area to offer da Vinci for Head/Neck procedures


Providence Medford Medical Center

  • Two robotic surgery suites, utilizing two da Vinci Xi systems

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic-assisted surgery is the least invasive, most precise type of minimally invasive surgery. “Minimally invasive” means that the surgery is performed using cameras and instruments placed through tiny incisions, as opposed to the larger, more invasive incisions required for conventional “open” surgery. “Robotic-assisted” means that the surgeon uses sophisticated robotic technology while performing the surgery. At Providence Portland and St. Vincent Medical Center’s, we have two robotic surgery suites at each facility equipped with state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical Systems. Using this technology, surgeons can perform many complex operations more easily and safely than with other techniques.

Does robotic surgery mean that the robot is in control?

No – the surgeon controls every aspect of the procedure from a console in the surgical suite, with a surgical team at the patient’s side.

What happens during robotic surgery?

First, small incisions are made to position the surgical instruments and a tiny camera inside the body. From the console, the surgeon sees a magnified, high-resolution 3-D view of the surgical site, transmitted in real time by the camera. Working at the console, the surgeon virtually manipulates the robotic instruments using natural hand movements. Cutting-edge robotic and computer technologies translate the surgeon’s hand movements from the console into smooth, precise micro-movements of the robotic surgical instruments. Learn more and watch video demonstrations.

How does robotic surgery differ from other minimally invasive procedures?

Because the incisions are so small, conventional minimally invasive surgery has limited what surgeons are able to see and what instruments they're able to use. Those limitations have made it difficult to perform some types of complex surgeries, such as hysterectomy and prostatectomy, with minimally invasive techniques. The da Vinci® robotic system overcomes these limitations and offers significant advantages in three areas:

Vision: the da Vinci system’s cameras convey a high-definition, magnified, true 3-D view inside the surgical site.

Movement: compared to the rigid instruments used in conventional laparoscopic surgeries, the wristed da Vinci instruments can bend and rotate even further than a human hand.

Precision: the robotic technology compensates for hand tremors, ensuring smooth, safe movements of the instruments.

These advantages give surgeons the ability to perform some complex operations faster and with greater ease, while improving patient safety.

Advantages for patients: Robotic vs. open surgery

Robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery offers compelling benefits to patients compared to conventional open surgery, including:

Less pain and trauma
Increased precision means less trauma to the body, which results in less post-operative discomfort and less need for pain medication. 

Fewer complications
The risk of post-operative complications, such as infection or hernia formation, is significantly reduced with robotic surgery. 

Less bleeding, fewer transfusions
Greater surgical vision and precision results in less bleeding during surgery, which reduces the need for transfusions.

Less time in the hospital, quicker return home
Open surgeries often require 6- to 12-inch incisions and many days in the hospital. With the smaller, half-inch incisions used in robotic surgery, many procedures now can be performed as outpatient procedures. Patients typically go home the same day or the day after their robotic surgery. 

Faster recovery
Following many types of open surgeries, recovery time may take up to eight weeks. With robotic procedures, many people can return to work and to their normal activities in as little as three to five days.

Less scarring
Robotic surgery results in smaller, less visible scarring. In some cases, the scars may not be visible at all.

Advantages for patients: Robotic vs. laparoscopic surgery

In addition to its advantages over open surgery, robotic surgery offers several advantages over traditional laparoscopic surgery, including more vivid, 3-D vision, greater range of motion and precision, and technology that eliminates hand tremors. These advantages may translate into safer surgeries that minimize trauma and bleeding. 

Studies also are finding that robotic surgery may offer specific advantages over laparoscopy for certain procedures. Some examples of these potential benefits include:

  • Colorectal surgery: lower blood loss, quicker return of bowel function, fewer complications and shorter hospital stays. Learn more ›
  • Hysterectomy: shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, less bleeding and less need for transfusions. Learn more ›
  • Prostatectomy: faster return of urinary continence, higher rate of return to pre-surgery erectile function in the first year, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better nerve sparing. Learn more ›
  • Kidney surgery (partial nephrectomy): better kidney function, less blood loss, fewer complications and shorter hospital stays. Learn more ›

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