Top Medical Centers Awarded da Vinci(R) Technology Grants for Robotic Surgery Simulation Practice

November 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM EST

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) has awarded technology grants to five top U.S. medical centers to increase training opportunities in minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Duke University, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), University of Texas Southwestern and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will each receive a da Vinci System console and Skills Simulator equipment for one year.

"Our goal is to see the skills surgeons develop during simulation practice transfer to actual surgery," said Myriam Curet, M.D., Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Intuitive Surgical. "Early research suggests that surgeons who spend time doing simulation improve their efficiency. Our hope is that future studies show that regular simulation practice also results in improved patient outcomes."

About 120 residents and researchers will be able to train on the simulation equipment. Medical centers were selected based on the scientific merits of their proposals, their specialty's relevance to robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, bibliographies, proof of prior work and intent to publish their surgery simulation results. The technology grant recipients were selected from the dozens of applications received.

"Simulation has become a critical component of surgical training," said Mary Anna Denman, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. "This grant allows us to introduce training in the newest minimally invasive surgical technology broadly across all of our surgical residency and fellowship programs. It will be part of the foundation of VirtuOHSU Simulation and Surgical Training Center, our new, state-of-the-art simulation program – one of a range of OHSU initiatives designed to help our surgeons provide excellent patient outcomes."

Intuitive Surgical received a strong response from medical centers seeking grant applications. "There is an interest and desire for robotic surgery simulation," said Peter Dominick, Senior Technical Product Manager for Simulation at Intuitive Surgical. "We look forward to seeing the outcomes published by these first five medical centers to receive the da Vinci Skills Simulator grants."

About Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the global leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets the da Vinci Surgical System. Intuitive Surgical's mission is to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to those patients who can and should benefit from it.

About the da Vinci Surgical System

There are several models of the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical Systems are designed to help doctors perform minimally invasive surgery. da Vinci Systems are not programmed to perform surgery on their own. Instead, the surgery is performed entirely by a doctor, who controls the system. da Vinci Systems offer doctors high-definition 3-D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. They use specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments (i.e., scissors, scalpels and forceps) designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.

About the da Vinci Skills Simulator

The da Vinci Skills Simulator is intended to augment, not replace, existing training programs for the da VinciSurgical Systems.

Important Safety Information

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci Surgery, up to and including death. Risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques. If a doctor needs to convert a patient's surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications. Individual surgical results may vary. Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctors to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. Refer to for important safety information.

Intuitive-Provided Instruction

Training provided by Intuitive Surgical is limited to the use of the da Vinci Surgical System and does not replace the necessary medical training and experience required to perform surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System should be used only by surgeons who have received specific training in the use of the da VinciSurgical System.

Intuitive Surgical facilitates peer-to-peer clinical teaching. Intuitive Surgical does not teach surgery, nor does it provide or evaluate surgical credentialing. Procedure descriptions are developed with, reviewed by and approved by independent surgeons.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of our management and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various important factors, including those under the heading "Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, as updated from time to time by our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements using words such as "estimates," "projects," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "targeted" and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

CONTACT: Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG)
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