Robotic Surgery at St. Jude

A national leader in minimally-invasive surgery

Our surgeons are creating the next generation of minimally-invasive surgeries—shortening recoveries, reducing complications, and improving outcomes in areas from gynecology and urology to the treatment of lung and colon cancers.

St. Jude is one of only a handful of hospitals in the nation to be designated as an Epicenter and Case Observation Site by Intuitive Surgical, the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System. This elite designation highlights our surgeons’ expertise, dedicated robotic surgical teams, and exceptional clinical outcomes.

As a recognized center of excellence, St. Jude hosts surgeons from across the nation—and around the world—to observe and learn from our physicians’ success in using robotic surgery to create more precise and effective treatment.

Inside St. Jude’s state-of-the-art surgical suites, robotic and computer technologies scale, filter and seamlessly translate a surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of micro-instruments. Inserted through very small incisions, the robotic “wrists” hold miniaturized instruments and offer an ability to bend and rotate that far exceeds the human hand—permitting our surgeons to perform complex and highly controlled motions that would otherwise be impossible.

Equally important, high-definition 3D views of the surgical site and innovative imaging capabilities offer our surgeons exceptional clarity and detail. The result is more significant than simply making surgeries minimally invasive: we are creating more precise and successful treatment.

Our surgeons carefully manipulate the robotic arms and surgical instruments while sitting at a console next to the operating table. In addition to offering immersive, highly-magnified views of the operating site.

The da Vinci Si Robotic System used by St. Jude surgeons is the most advanced robotic technology in the world. Its dual consoles allow surgeons from different specialties to work together, enabling a minimally-invasive approach to highly complex surgical procedures.

Common advantages of robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Less post-operative pain
  • Fewer complications
  • Reduced blood loss and trauma to the body
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Improved outcomes

General Surgery & Minimally-Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Meet Our Surgeons

Theodoros Daskalakis, MD

Gergis Ghobrial, MD

Kevin Kinzinger, MD

Michael McCoy, MD

Robert McCoy, MD

Michael Tsinberg, MD

Read More

Operating within the confines of the abdomen and pelvis is challenging. A robotic approach minimizes damage or disruption to surrounding tissue and organs, lowers the risk of infection and complications, and significantly shortens recovery.

Our highly-trained general surgeons use the da Vinci Robotic System to perform hernia repairs and remove diseased sections of the colon, stomach and rectum with more precision and accuracy. Single-site gallbladder removal - where surgery is performed through a small incision across the belly button-adds yet another benefit: virtually scarless.

The robot’s fluorescent imaging capabilities-in which dye is injected allowing the surgeon to clearly visualize anatomy and blood flow through a fluorescent camera-is invaluable in minimizing the chance of injury or complication. This advanced imaging allows our surgeons to identify potential issues, such as leaks along the cut margins, before ending surgery-an advantage not possible with traditional surgery.

Conditions treated with robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Gallbladder removal, including single-site surgery (surgery is performed through one small incision over the belly button)
  • Hernia repair (including ventral, incisional and inguinal hernias)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Stomach cancer
  • Prolapsed rectum

Minimally-Invasive Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology & Urogynecology Surgery

Meet Our Surgeons


Ricarda Benz, MD

Jacquelyn Cortez, MD

Theresa Franks, MD

Brian Gray, MD

Thomas Hughes, MD

Vivian Lin, MD

Johanna Su, MD

Lina Wong, DO

Gynecologic Oncology

Kristine Penner, MD

(714) 456-8000

Leslie Randall, MD

Krishnansu Tewari, MD


Melanie Santos, MD

Read More

The da Vinci’s capabilities, including superior visualization, maneuverability and precision, are enormous assets when operating in a narrow area such as the pelvis, making it possible for our surgeons to turn complex cancer removal and pelvic prolapse repair into minimally-invasive procedures.

The da Vinci’s infrared imaging technology allows our physicians to more accurately identify structures and areas affected by cancer cells. This fluorescent imaging provides clear views of difficult to distinguish anatomy, like pelvic lymph nodes, and enables surgeons to determine the spread of cancer during surgery - something not possible before.

Instead of large abdominal incisions, our surgeons operate through several tiny incisions, significantly reducing complications and trauma to the tissue. Surgeries that traditionally might require 3-4 days in the hospital are now often same-day procedures. Through robotic-assisted surgery, our experienced gynecologists, urogynecologists and gynecologic oncologists create outstanding outcomes while allowing women to recover quickly, heal faster and experience less pain.

Conditions treated with robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Uterine, ovarian and cervical cancer
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts

Minimally-Invasive Lung & Thoracic Surgery

Meet Our Surgeon

Daniel Oh, MD

Read More

Our nationally-respected thoracic surgeon is at the forefront of transforming lung cancer treatment and outcomes, as well as extending the benefits of robotic surgery to esophageal conditions, both benign and malignant.

We are one of only a few hospitals in California with the expertise and state-of-the-art technology to routinely perform robotic lung cancer removal, a groundbreaking improvement in the treatment of lung cancer. Instead of a large incision and a seven-14 day hospital stay, here, lung cancer is removed through several tiny incisions, creating fewer complications and a three-day hospital stay-will maximizing and improving cancer removal.

Due to the nationally-recognized expertise of Daniel Oh, MD, board-certified thoracic surgeon, St. Jude is one of just four hospitals in the western United States to be designated as an Epicenter and national Center of Excellence in lung cancer surgery.

Conditions treated with robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • GERD or Esophageal Reflux (including Hiatal Hernia)
  • Mediastinal Tumor
  • Thymoma or thymic carcinoma (non-metastatic)


Meet Our Surgeons

Ali Alavi, MD

Michael Gazzaniga, MD

Scott Hughes, MD

Derrick Marinelli, MD

Eric Tygenhof, MD

Alan Weinberg, MD

Read More

Our board-certified urologists are experts in using robotic technology to improve outcomes for patients with cancers of the prostate, kidney and adrenal gland. In addition to dramatically reducing the invasiveness of surgery, a robotic approach allows our surgeons to maximize cancer removal while successfully preserving healthy tissue.

For patients diagnosed with kidney cancer, robotic-assisted surgery allows our surgeons to remove only the diseased portion of the kidney, preserving kidney function and reducing complications. This less invasive procedure-called robotic partial nephrectomy-is quickly becoming the gold standard in treatment.

In prostate cancer treatment, robotic prostatectomy significantly lowers the risk of long term complications, including incontinence and impotence, while allowing more complete removal of the cancer.

Conditions treated with robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Kidney cancer (partial and complete nephrectomy)
  • Adrenal cancer
  • Kidney stones or cysts