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Robotic surgery

Expanding what’s possible

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The newest technology is available right here at home. With the da Vinci Surgical System, the possibilities are endless.

Many technologies are used to enhance doctors’ capabilities beyond what the human body allows. For example, MRI and CTs allow doctors to “see” inside the body. This same concept applies to the da Vinci Surgical System, allowing surgeons to use the robotic-assisted system to extend the capabilities of their eyes and hands.

The surgeon has an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci. The surgeon performs surgery with da Vinci by using instruments guided via the console.

Through that console, the system translates the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, bending and rotating the instruments while performing the procedure. The small instruments move like a human hand, but with a much greater range of motion.

The da Vinci also has a highly magnified, 3D high-definition image of the surgical area. This gives the surgeon much better accuracy in using the tools to do a more precise surgery.

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Robotic surgery at Cookeville Regional Medical Center

1 Medical Center Blvd.
Cookeville, TN 38501


The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform.

The da Vinci System enables the surgeon to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

During robotic-assisted surgery, our surgeons perform procedures with a team of highly trained nurses and operating room staff while sitting at a specialized surgical console. The surgeon views a high-definition, 3D image of the surgical site and uses the platform to control four robotic arms. The arms hold a camera and instruments that are controlled by the surgeon from the console.

Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System has many benefits.

Significantly less pain
Decreased blood loss
Minimal scarring
Shorter recovery times
Shorter hospital stay
A faster return to normal daily activities


Surgery to remove lung cancer has traditionally been a thoracotomy, in which the surgeon makes a 6- to 8-inch incision and spreads the ribs apart to make way for hands and instruments. Next came the Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS), which requires three to four small incisions — one medium-sized incision and two to three other small incisions, without spreading the ribs.

Thanks to the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgery only requires five small incisions — four for the robotic arms and camera and one for an assistant to work through. The largest incision is 2.5 to 3 centimeters long, and the rest are around a centimeter long. The operation takes about three hours to perform. Patients generally spend a night in the intensive care unit and then move to the step-down unit, and they generally go home in three to seven days.

Most patients can return to normal activity within a week or two, compared with two to three months for the traditional surgery.

E-N-T (head and neck)

In the past, surgeons had to perform open surgery to treat throat cancer. It oftentimes involved a long incision from the bottom lip down to the middle of the neck and up to the ear. Surgeons also had to split open the jaw to reach the back of the mouth and throat.

For benign (noncancerous) conditions and early stage cancers, doctors can now use minimally invasive surgeries through the mouth that requires no incisions.

Transoral robotic-assisted surgery (TORS) requires no incisions but uses robotic technology, such as the da Vinci, to perform surgery.


Hysterectomies and removing cancer in women was traditionally done through open surgery, requiring a long hospital stay and recovery.

Thanks to the da Vinci Surgical System, nearly 100 percent of hysterectomies are conducted robotically. This, along with laparoscopic procedures, requires one or a few small incisions that doctors use to insert surgical equipment and a camera for viewing.

The da Vinci can be used in removing fibroids, treating endometriosis, and many other gynecological issues women may encounter.

Choosing the da Vinci for gynecological procedures means less blood loss, less pain and faster recovery.


Urogynecology specializes in the treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Abdominal sacrocolpopexy is the “gold standard” for the treatment of uterine and vaginal prolapse. Historically, this procedure has been performed through a large abdominal incision and most patients had a long hospital stay and recovery.

The da Vinci surgical system, with its advanced technology that includes optical magnification and 3D imaging, along with the ability to suture precisely, now allows the surgeon to perform this procedure minimally invasively through small incisions.

Most of these surgeries are now performed as an outpatient procedure and can go home the same day.

Sacrocolpopexy, or other prolapse procedures, may also be performed at the same time as a robotic hysterectomy.

General Surgery

General surgery involves a number of procedures to address health issues. Surgeons used to have to cut into skin and muscle to gain access to the area of concern.

But with the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons can now remove gallbladders, colon surgery and repair inguinal and ventral hernias, all with small incisions.

In traditional open surgery, the surgeon looks directly at the surgical area through the incision and repairs the hernia using hand-held tools.

With the da Vinci, the camera system enhances what the surgeon sees, giving more precise results, benefitting both the patient and surgeon.


Robotic-assisted urologic procedures include:

Prostatectomy (prostate surgery)

Partial and total nephrectomy (kidney surgery)

Pyeloplasty (surgery to relieve kidney blockage)

Cyst removal (surgery to remove cyst from kidney)

Ureteral implantation (fix the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys)

Weight Loss Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System can assist surgeons with sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgeries. The surgeon sits at a console near the patient in the operating room and through that console, the surgeon controls a camera and tiny instruments used to perform the surgery through a few incisions about the size of a fingertip.

Thanks to the 3D high-definition views, your surgeon has a crystal-clear view of the surgical area magnified 10 times what the human eye sees. It translates every movement your surgeon makes in real time, bending and rotating instruments that move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion. Built-in tremor filtration technology helps the surgeon move each instrument with smooth precision.

Meet the Experts

Katherine (Katie) Addicott, MD


OB/GYN Associates

Michael E. Cole, MD


OB/GYN Associates

Bert E. Geer, DO


Cookeville Gynecology

Paige Gernt, MD


OB/GYN Associates

Charles Huddleston, MD

Bariatric Surgery/General Surgery

Middle Tennessee Surgical Specialists

Jeffrey Harmon McCarter, MD

Bariatric Surgery/General Surgery/Vascular Surgery

Middle Tennessee Surgical Specialists

Jeffrey Moore, MD

General Surgery/Vascular Surgery

Middle Tennessee Surgical Specialists

Billy D. Parsons, MD

Cardiothoracic surgery

Cookeville Regional Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeons

Dr. Powell, M.D.

Timothy J. Powell, MD

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Cookeville Regional Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeons

Grant Rohman, M.D.

Grant Rohman, MD

E-N-T (Ear-Nose-Throat)/Facial Plastic & Reconstructive/Surgery of the Head and Neck

Upper Cumberland Ear, Nose and Throat

Jason Easterday, MD

Jason Easterday, MD


Upper Cumberland Urology Associates


General surgeon Dr. Charles Huddleston talks about the technology that allows surgeons to have more precision with a variety of procedures thanks to the daVinci Xi robot.

Urogynecologist Dr. Bert Geer talks about the innovation that has been made over the years at Cookeville Regional Medical Center and how the hospital is on the forefront of all that technology.

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