da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System

Surgical Precision


At Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System is the latest in a growing list of surgical options for patients. At Cottage, a number of surgeons have received special training and are now  using the system to assist in urologic, gynecologic, bariatric and cardiothoracic procedures.


How the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System works

Cottage surgeons using the da Vinci® System

What do patients say about da Vinci®?

What do doctors say about da Vinci®?

How the da Vinci® Robotic System works

The computer-enhanced system involves a stand-alone console and a mechanical robot with several arms that hold both the surgical instruments and a miniature video camera for the field of view. The surgeon sits at the console looking into eyepieces that provide a three-dimensional image of the operation area. Maneuvering special hand devices in the console, the surgeon precisely controls every movement of the micro-instruments in the robot's arms.


The surgical instruments are small enough to fit through keyhole incisions. This allows the surgeon to work in very tight areas - such as between the rib cage - and with minimum disruption to surrounding tissue or organs.


Compared to traditional surgery, studies have shown that most patients treated with this new surgical option experience:

  • Less blood loss
  • Less discomfort upon waking from surgery
  • Reduction in pain medication
  • Faster recovery time


Cottage surgeons

With support from the highly trained surgical team at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, surgeons are performing minimally invasive procedures including these:

Opting Robotic:
Meet a daVinci patient >>




Intuitive Surgical's website

•    Urological Procedures: Robot Assisted
•    Laparoscopic Surgery:
Robot Assisted
•    Health Library A-Z Index
•    Medical Dictionary
•    Men’s Health Resource Center
•    En Espanol
•    Urinary Incontinence
•    MEDLINEPlus Health Info
•    MEDLINEPlus En Español

  • Tumor removal
  • Urological Procedures:

    Prostatectomy - to remove an enlarged prostate causing urinary problems

  • Partial and total nephrectomy - kidney removal
  • Pyeloplasty - kidney reconstruction
  • Gynecological Procedures:

    Hysterectomy - removal of the uterus

    Myomectomy - removal of uterine fibroids

  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery to diagnose and treat conditions in the chest and lungs


Physicians currently performing robotic-assisted surgical procedures at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital are:


Dr. Carin Craig

Dr. Margaret Echt

Dr. Ralph Quijano

Dr. David Raphael

Dr. Anne Rodriguez

Thoracic Surgery

Dr. Benedict Taylor

Dr. Phillip West


Dr. Julie Chacko

Dr. Daniel Curhan

Dr. Alex Koper

Dr. David Laub



What do patients say about da Vinci®?

John Boogaard's experience with the pain and long recovery from a cardiac bypass procedure years ago made him reluctant to undergo surgery to correct a problem with his esophagus. His physician referred him to Dr. Phillip West, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, who was able to employ the da Vinci® System to perform an esophageal myotomy (surgical procedure in which the muscle is cut). The recovery was definitely a different experience than his earlier surgery. Mr. Boogaard returned home four days after the myotomy and with little need for pain pills. He says he has had no side effects from the surgery, and his energy level quickly returned to normal.


What do doctors say about da Vinci®?

Urologists Dr. Alex Koper and Dr. David Laub agree that minimally invasive surgery is the wave of the future. According to Dr. Koper, it allows surgeons to make much smaller incisions to perform the necessary procedure while maintaining the same high quality of surgical care while helping patients to feel more comfortable during recovery.


With robotics, patients recover much more quickly, according to Dr. Laub. "Patients are back to full activity about one month sooner than they are with open surgery," says Laub.


     061113-u/d 092513