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Center for Robotic Surgery


Michael Lasser, M.D.
Medical Director, Robotic Surgery

JFK Medical Center offers patients the option of cutting-edge robotic surgery, which blends robotic, optical and computer technology to perform a wide range of procedures. This innovative system enhances precision, flexibility and control during operations and offers patients a safer and less-invasive alternative to traditional open surgery.

Using the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System, our surgeons are able to use the small incisions associated with traditional laparoscopic surgery, but with greatly improved visualization and range of motion. Using robotic surgery, our team can perform delicate and complex procedures that were difficult or impossible via other methods.

What is robotic surgery?

Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery entails the use of a surgical robot that allow surgeons to offer more patients the benefits of laparoscopic surgery. The use of this technology helps the surgeon perform more complex operations without the need for a large incision. By combining robotics and advanced computer technology, surgeons can operate with greater dexterity and control than with traditional surgical approaches.

During robotic surgery, our experienced surgeons carefully guide the surgical robot. The robot has no autonomous function; it is not capable of doing anything without specifically directed by the surgeon. Robotic surgery is performed through minor incisions, often smaller in size than a dime. The surgical robot provides surgeons with the benefits of 10X magnification, 3-dimensional (3D) high-definition visibility and exacting precision, in addition to improved dexterity and access.

JFK Medical Center surgeons are able to perform both simple and complex procedures using this minimally-invasive approach that has many benefits to patients.

Learn more about robotic surgery:

How does robotic surgery work?

The surgeon sits at a surgical console next to the patient. The surgeon performs the procedure from the console while viewing the surgical field through a 3-dimensional (3D) magnified image (up to 10X magnification). At the same time, the surgeon’s hand and wrist movements are seamlessly translated to the robot to complete the surgical procedure.

It is important to understand that the robot is controlled solely by the surgeon and is not capable of making decisions on its own. Every step of the surgery is performed through direct input from our surgeons. Through just a few small incisions — the size of a pea — our surgeons can perform the entire procedure.

What are the main benefits of robotic surgery?

With robot-assisted surgery, patients can have major surgery with only a few, tiny incisions. The benefits to the patient can include:

  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less blood loss
  • Reduced pain; less need for narcotic pain medication
  • Less risk of infection
  • Reduced scarring
  • Fewer complications
  • Quicker return to daily activities

Which surgeries can be performed robotically?

Although it depends on your unique situation, robotic surgery can be used in a number of specialty areas. At JFK Medical Center, we have the most advanced and capable robotic system available in the da Vinci Xi. In fact, we have two of them, enabling our medical team to efficiently and expertly serve the central New Jersey community.

Our robotic surgery capabilities include these surgical specialties:

  • Bariatric
  • Colorectal
  • Endocrine
  • General
  • Gynecologic
  • Hepatobiliary
  • Thoracic
  • Urological

Specific conditions that we can manage with Robotic Surgery here at JFK Medical Center include:

  • Adrenal glands tumors
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Bowel tumors (small)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Diaphragm hernia
  • Diverticulitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver masses
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung conditions (noncancerous)
  • Lymph node removal
  • Morbid obesity
  • Ovarian masses and cancer
  • Pancreatic masses
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Prostatic hypertrophy (benign)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thoracic conditions (noncancerous)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Uterine bleeding (excessive)
  • Uterine fibroids and cancer
  • Urinary obstruction
  • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction
  • Umbilical hernia

How experienced are JFK surgeons with robotic surgery?

JFK Medical Center was the first program in the region to obtain two of the most advanced and capable surgical robots: the da Vinci XI from Intuitive. The robotic surgery team has completed more than 1,000 procedures since 2016. It is comprised of physicians with many years of surgical experience and includes surgeons with extensive subspeciality training including fellowship training specifically in laparoscopic and robotic surgery techniques.

First and foremost, patient safety is our top priority. While minimally invasive robotic surgery reduces recovery time and provides surgeons with greater control, it is not for everyone. There are times when traditional open surgery is the better choice due to the patient’s age, physical condition, surgical history and access to the treatment area.

How long is the hospital stay with robotic surgery?

The hospital stay is dependent upon multiple factors including the procedure being performed, the patient’s medical and cardiac history, history of prior surgeries and patient healing. In some instances, the patient can go home on the day of surgery and in others the patient stays overnight in the hospital. It is important that you discuss your individual case with our robotic surgeons.

Will there be any pain with robotic surgery?

Because robotic surgery requires only a few small incisions, the post-operative pain is usually less than that experienced during open surgery.

Does insurance cover robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery is categorized as robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Any insurance that covers minimally invasive surgery generally covers robotic surgery. It is important, however, to note that your coverage will depend on your plan and benefits package. You should check with your insurance carrier for detailed information prior to your surgery.