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Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) manufactures the daVinci robot Surgical System.

Expanded Definition

Intuitive Surgical is the first company to develop and commercialize a robotic surgery system.

Note, I said "system," not "surgeon." The daVinci is not a robot surgeon. Instead, it is operated by a doctor who uses a camera system to view the actual site of the surgery and controls that are mimicked by the robotic instruments. The "intuitive" part of the company's name comes from the claim that using the system is intuitive, using the same motions the surgeon learns in open surgery.

The company sells instruments in the U.S. and in many foreign countries. In 2007, they started selling to Chinese hospitals. They have over 1000 systems installed worldwide and sell both to first time purchasers and to repeat buyers. Growth is predicated upon both expanding to more customers and expanding the number and type of procedures in which the daVinci is used. It started with prostatectomies (removal of the prostate) and has since expanded to hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) and certain types of heart surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery, using a small incision and working inside the body through that, reduces pain, blood loss, and time in hospital for the patient.

Intuitive Surgical sells the daVinci robot, training, and service. In addition, it sells disposable parts for the instrument. In this latter respect, it can be viewed as using the razorblade model, selling the robot surgical system (the "razor") and the parts (the "blades").


CEO and Chairman: Lonnie M. Smith, since 1997.

COO and President: Gary S. Guthart, since 2006 and 2007, repsectively.

CFO: Marshall L. Mohr, since 2006.

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