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Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery

Minimally invasive is a term that covers many different types of surgical procedures, all with a single common factor: the option to be performed with a much smaller incision. The benefits of surgery using minimally invasive techniques are numerous, including faster recovery times, reduced time in the hospital, less bleeding and scarring, lower risk of infection, and less pain and discomfort overall.

While the use of minimally invasive techniques continues to advance and include more and more procedures, it is not always the best or most effective choice. In many cases, your surgeon will elect to use traditional open surgery if he/she feels there is greater benefit to your health and individual condition.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Some of our minimally invasive procedures include:

Robotic Surgery

Surgeons control robotic “arms” during surgery, giving them greater control, precision, and visibility. Tools used during robotic surgery allow for minimal incisions and greater overall dexterity of the surgeon’s hands. At OU Medicine, our surgeons use the da Vinci® Surgical System – equipped with a 3D high-definition vision system and EndoWrist instrumentation, which extends the range of motion of the surgeon’s hands as well.


A small, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera lens (called a laparoscope) is used to examine organs and check for abnormalities. This procedure can be used to examine the inside of the body without making a large incision, or to take tissue samples for further testing.


Similar to laparoscopy, endoscopy utilizes a small, flexible tube with a light and camera lens (called an endoscope) to look inside the hollow organs of the digestive tract, as well as take tissue samples when necessary for testing. If surgical procedures are necessary, small instruments can be attached to perform the procedure without a large incision. Endoscopic procedures are typically used on conditions that involve the gastrointestinal tract, esophagus, intestines, and colon.


A flexible fiber-optic cable (called a bronchoscope) is placed into the windpipe, enabling surgeons to view and examine the bronchi and evaluate possible lung conditions or blockages. This procedure can also be used to obtain tissue samples or help remove a foreign body.


For patients with pulmonary disease and some heart and chest conditions, surgeons insert a thin, flexible tube (called a thoracoscope), equipped with fiber-optic cables, through a small incision in the chest. The tube enables the surgeon to examine the lungs, mediastinum and pleura and make a diagnosis or obtain tissues or samples for further testing. If surgical procedures are necessary, small instruments can be attached to perform the procedure without a large incision.

Benefits of robotic-assisted surgery

What are the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery? 

  • Exceptional cancer-removal ability 
  • Less pain and less need for pain medications
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • Less chance for complications
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal daily activities
  • Often offers better clinical outcomes 

We offer robotic-assisted surgery options for many procedures, including:

  • Colorectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery