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Minimally Invasive Surgery at Franklin Woods Community Hospital

The only medical facility in the Tri-Cities with the NEW da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgery System

Our newest surgical robotic system, the da Vinci® Xi, is making surgery more effective, less invasive and easier on surgeons, patients and their families.

Using this system, we can operate through small incisions with a 3D high-definition magnified view inside the body using tiny instruments that bend and rotate. These features provide surgeons with enhanced vision, precision and control resulting in smaller incisions, less pain, faster healing and less scarring.

And because the incisions are small, patients tend to have quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery – all with the same benefits.

This new robotic system, combined with our current da Vinci Si, allows us to offer advanced technology in these specialties:

  • Colorectal
  • Ear, nose & throat
  • General surgery
  • OB/GYN
  • Urology

Meet our da Vinci surgeons.

Recognized quality care

Franklin Woods Community Hospital recently received the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® for minimally invasive colorectal surgery.

Franklin Woods is the third hospital in the nation and the first in Tennessee to receive this honor.

How minimally invasive surgery works

During a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin – just a few millimeters in some cases.

A long, thin tube with a miniature camera attached at the end (called an endoscope) is passed through one of the incisions. Images from the endoscope are projected onto monitors in the operating room so surgeons can get a clear (and magnified) view of the surgical area.

Special instruments are passed through the other openings. These instruments allow the surgeon to perform the surgery by exploring, removing or repairing whatever’s wrong inside the body.

Types of minimally invasive surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery

One of the latest technological breakthroughs in medicine is robotic-assisted surgery. Franklin Woods uses the da Vinci Robotic Program, which allows surgeons to make a single small incision (sometimes through the belly button) to perform procedures that once required multiple larger incisions.

With this type of surgery there are no or smaller scars, recovery time is faster and patients are back to their daily routines much quicker.

The da Vinci technology is especially suited for several types of surgery. Some common general surgeries performed robotically are those involving the gall bladder, colon and hernia repair.

Beneficial features of our robotic surgical tools

Fluorescent imaging technology is one aspect of robotic surgery that improves surgical accuracy. During partial nephrechtomy, for example, the fluorescence allows the surgeon to easily identify healthy versus non-healthy tissue.

A Vessel Sealer is another special feature of robotic surgery. This means surgery can be done with fewer stitches, less likelihood of post-op leaking, lower risk of infection and quicker healing. Franklin Woods is one of only 14 sites in the U.S. using this unique Vessel Sealer technology.

Why Franklin Woods for robotic surgery

Franklin Woods is pleased to have the only ENT, gynecological, urological and general surgeons in the Tri-Cities area who are specially trained in this cutting-edge technology. Among these surgeons are those specializing in the areas of gall bladder removal, gynecological oncology and ear, nose and throat procedures.

Non-robotic minimally invasive surgery (endoscopic)

Non-robotic minimally invasive surgery is also known as endoscopic surgery. You also may be familiar with terms like laparoscopic surgery, thoracoscopic surgery, or “keyhole” surgery. These are minimally invasive procedures that utilize an endoscope to reach internal organs through very small incisions.

How endoscopic surgery works

During endoscopic surgery the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube with a video camera through a small incision or a natural orifice like the mouth or nostrils. The tube has a channel to utilize tiny surgical instruments, which the surgeon uses while viewing the organs on a computer monitor.

This technique allows the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body and operate through a much smaller incision than would otherwise be required of traditional open surgery.

Benefits of endoscopic surgery

Endoscopic surgical procedures can provide benefits such as:

  • Small incisions, few incisions or no incision
  • Less pain
  • Low risk of infection
  • Short hospital stay
  • Quick recovery time
  • Less scarring
  • Reduced blood loss

Conditions often treated by minimally invasive surgery

Some conditions treated at Franklin Woods using minimally invasive procedures include:

  • Urology
    • Kidney
    • Prostate
    • Bladder
  • Gynecology
    • Hysterectomy
    • Oophorectomy
    • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • General surgery
    • Colorectal
    • Esophageal
    • Hernia
    • Gallbladder
  • Ear, nose and throat
    • Sleep apnea surgery
    • Pharyngeal masses

Learn more

Call (423) 302-2056 to find out more about minimally invasive surgery at Franklin Woods.


Not all minimally invasive procedures are completed with robot assistance, and not all medical cases are right for robotic-assisted surgery. Some patients may benefit from endoscopic or open (traditional) surgery. Discuss with your doctor on which approach could meet your surgical needs.