In 1995, Intuitive Surgical was founded to test this theory. In January 1999, Intuitive launched the da Vinci System, and in 2000 became the first robotic surgical system cleared by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery. In the following years, the FDA cleared the da Vinci System for thoracoscopic (chest) surgery, cardiac procedures performed with adjunctive incisions, as well as urologic, gynecologic, pediatric, and transoral otolaryngology procedures. In June 2000, Intuitive Surgical completed a successful initial public offering. This was followed by a second successful public offering in 2003. In 2003, the company also acquired its principal competitor, Computer Motion, Inc., strengthening the company’s intellectual property holdings.
The da Vinci® Surgical System features a 3D HD vision system for a clear and magnified view inside the patient’s body. da Vinci’s EndoWrist® instruments bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. The surgeon controls the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. da Vinci technology allows surgeons to perform complex and routine procedures through a few small openings, similar to traditional laparoscopy.
The da Vinci Xi® is the next frontier for minimally invasive surgery. With this addition, Intuitive Surgical® can now offer a full range of da Vinci Systems optimized for highly complex, multi-quadrant surgery and simpler, single-quadrant surgery.