Mayo Clinic's approach

Collaboration

Mayo Clinic doctors in many specialties are trained in robotic surgery. They work together with staff in other areas to coordinate your care. During your surgery, doctors with expertise in robot-assisted techniques lead a trained surgical team.

A wide range of procedures

Surgeons and surgical team members who perform robotic-assisted procedures are specially trained to use this technology. Mayo Clinic surgeons perform a wide range of robotic surgeries, including:

  • Abdominal surgery and colon and rectal surgery
  • Arm system for partial knee replacement surgery
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Urologic surgery

Robotic-arm assisted knee resurfacing

Watch Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Cedric J. Ortiguera, M.D., demonstrate how robotic-arm assisted knee resurfacing helps patients who need partial knee replacement.

Vivien Williams: Robots and video games. Two technologies that, believe it or not, are helping some surgeons perform more precise and effective operations for patients. Let's go to Mayo Clinic to see how doctors are using new tools for partial knee replacements.

This may look like a type of video game, but this technology, called robotic-arm assisted knee resurfacing, allows surgeons to do partial knee replacements more precisely than ever before.

Cedric Ortiguera, M.D., Mayo Clinic: While I'm doing the surgery on the patient, I'm also watching the screen.

Vivien Williams: The image on the screen is a computer-generated custom made map of a simulated patient's knee. It shows Dr. Cedric Ortiguera exactly where to operate. A robotic arm, equipped with a burr, keeps him from moving out of the targeted area.

Dr. Ortiguera: The robot actually guides us and prevents us from making any mistakes.

Mary O'Connor, M.D., Mayo Clinic: The advantage of using the robot to perform the partial knee replacement is really two-fold.

Vivien Williams: Doctor Mary O'Connor says first, it allows surgeons to remove less bone, which is good because new replacements don't last forever, and future surgeries are more successful if there's more bone for surgeons to work with. Second, it allows surgeons to align the implant and match it more precisely with the patient's anatomy.

Dr. O'Connor: We're using this robot because we feel that it is an advanced surgical tool to really allow us to provide a better surgical outcome for our patients.

Vivien Williams: Patients, like Lauren Whomsley.

Lauren Whomsley: You know, on a scale of 10, I was literally a five to six on a really good day.

Vivien Williams: Lauren was a good candidate for this procedure. She's young, and her osteoarthritis was confined to one area of her knee. She didn't need a full knee replacement, but the pain was bad. She couldn't do basic activities, like walking up stairs.

Lauren Whomsley: On the days that I was really, really sore, I would literally have to sit on the step and pull myself up step by step by step. I have 23 steps.

Vivien Williams: Being sedentary was tough for Lauren.

Lauren Whomsley: I'm a fly fisher woman, and I hike, two of my favorite things to do.

Vivien Williams: But she couldn't do them. So Lauren opted for the robotic arm assisted knee resurfacing. And now--

Lauren Whomsley: I'm back on the elliptical. I'm back on my bike.

Vivien Williams: She's back in action, knee pain free. Other benefits of the robotic arm assisted knee resurfacing may include less pain after surgery and a quicker recovery. That's because it's less invasive than other knee replacement procedures. Now, this procedure will not benefit all patients who need knee replacements due to wear and tear arthritis. So talk to your doctor to see if it might be right for you. For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.

Not all procedures may be available at each Mayo Clinic location. Talk to your doctor about whether you are a candidate for this type of procedure and where it is available.

Advanced technology and research

People undergoing robot-assisted surgery at Mayo Clinic benefit from Mayo's advanced technology. In addition, Mayo Clinic researchers are committed to developing and sharing new robotic surgery techniques and evaluating their effectiveness.

A surgical team assists at the operating table during robot-assisted heart surgery. Robot-assisted heart surgery team at Mayo Clinic

A Mayo Clinic surgeon and surgical team assist with robot-assisted heart surgery, while another surgeon sits at a remote console controlling the robotic arms.

Robot-assisted spine surgery Robot-assisted spine surgery

Dr. Mohamad Bydon uses the surgical robot to place hardware into the spine during spinal fusion surgery.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Expertise and rankings

Experience

Robotic surgeries are complex procedures that require highly skilled and extensively trained surgeons. Mayo surgeons perform more than 4,000 robotic surgeries each year. This depth of experience helps doctors provide exactly the care you need.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is ranked highly performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart care and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic in Minnesota ranks No. 1 for urology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranks among the Best Hospitals for gynecology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for ear, nose and throat by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions.

May 06, 2022
  1. Paraiso MFR, et al. Robot-assisted laparoscopy. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Jan. 17, 2022.
  2. Garbarino GM, et al. Robotic versus open oncological gastric surgery in the elderly: A propensity score‑matched analysis. Journal of Robotic Surgery. 2021; doi:10.1007/s11701-020-01168-2.
  3. Terra RM, et al. Global status of the robotic thoracic surgery. Journal of Thoracic Disease. 2021; doi:10.21037/jtd-19-3271.
  4. Jensen NA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Oct. 15, 2021.