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Intuitive Surgical

Developer of robotic-surgery system.

1266 Kifer Rd., Building 1
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Employees: 2,978
CEO: Gary Guthart Ph.D.
Stock Symbol: ISRG

Website: http://www.intuitivesurgical.com

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Intuitive Surgical is the global technology leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The Company's da Vinci Surgical System offers surgeons superior 3D HD visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort for the optimal performance of MIS. The da Vinci System enables surgeons to perform even complex procedures such as heart valve and cancer surgery through 1-2 cm incisions.

da Vinci Surgery utilizes computational, robotic and imaging technologies to enable improved patient outcomes compared to other surgical and non-surgical therapies. da Vinci surgery is aimed towards advancing the critical surgical ideals of entering the body less invasively, seeing anatomy more clearly, interacting with tissue more precisely and building surgical skills. The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to avail or improve the benefits of MIS to many patients who would otherwise undergo a more invasive surgery. Surgeons using the da Vinci system operate while seated comfortably at a console viewing a 3-D, HD image of the surgical field. This immersive visualization connects surgeons to the surgical field and their instruments. While seated at the console, the surgeon manipulates instrument controls in a natural manner, similar to the more intuitive open surgery technique.

The original prototype for Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci System was developed in the late 1980s at the former Stanford Research Institute under contract to the U.S. Army. While initial work was funded in the interest of developing a system for performing battlefield surgery remotely, possible commercial applications were even more compelling: It was clear to those involved that this technology could accelerate the application of a minimally invasive surgical approach to a broader range of procedures.

In 1995, Intuitive Surgical was founded to test this theory. In January 1999, Intuitive launched the da Vinci Surgical System, and in 2000, it became the first robotic surgical system cleared by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery. In the following years, the FDA cleared the da Vinci Surgical System for thoracoscopic (chest) surgery, cardiac procedures performed with adjunctive incisions, urologic, gynecologic, pediatric and transoral otolaryngology procedures. In June 2000, Intuitive Surgical completed a successful initial public offering. This was followed by a second successful public offering in 2003. In 2003, the company also acquired its principal competitor, Computer Motion, strengthening its intellectual property holdings.

Intuitive Surgical owns or held exclusive field-of-use license for more than 1,500 U.S. and foreign patents and more than 10,500 U.S. and foreign patent applications. Intuitive Surgical's patents and patent applications relate to a number of important aspects of its technology, including the surgeon console, electromechanical arms, vision system, endoscope positioning system, and EndoWrist® instruments. In addition to developing its own proprietary technologies, Intuitive Surgical has established relationships with several industry leaders, including IBM Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), John Hopkins University (JHU), and Heartport, Inc. (Johnson & Johnson). Intuitive has also entered into industry collaborations with companies including Ethicon Endo-Surgery (Johnson & Johnson), Luna Innovations, Power Medical Interventions, Teleflex Medical, InTouch Health, Stryker, Novadaq, and Mimic.

da Vinci Surgery is currently chosen by more US men than any other treatment available for prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. It is also the #1 option for minimally invasive hysterectomy in the United States.

In 2014, approximately 570,000 surgical procedures were performed with the da Vinci Surgical System, compared to approximately 523,000 and 450,000 procedures performed in 2013 and 2012, respectively. The growth in our overall procedure volume in 2014 was driven by the growth in U.S. general surgery procedures and worldwide urologic procedures.

The company reported total revenues of $2.1 billion in 2014, down from $2.3 billion the previous year, and net income of $418.8 million.


Intuitive Surgical extends comprehensive health care benefits to all regular full-time employees, their spouses or domestic partners, and eligible dependents. Health care benefits include:

  • Health Maintenance Organization
  • Preferred Provider Organization
  • Kaiser (California based employees only)
  • Employee Assistance Program (designed to help employees successfully manage work and life issues)
  • Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Dental
  • Vision

Income Protection Benefits

Intuitive Surgical offers partial continuation of income to financially protect our employees in the event that they become injured or ill and are unable to work. Our disability benefits include:

  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Short-term Disability
  • Long-term Disability

Life Insurance

Up to three (3) times the employee's base salary is provided to surviving beneficiaries in case of the employee's death. This plan also provides dismemberment insurance and increased coverage for accidental death. Employees also have the option of purchasing supplemental life insurance for themselves, their spouses, and their children.

Pre-Tax Spending Accounts

Employees can reduce taxable income and extend purchasing power by enrolling in the following pretax spending accounts:

  • Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan (e.g. child daycare or summer camp)
  • Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan
  • Commuter Check Program

Retirement and Investment Programs

Intuitive Surgical offers two programs which allow employees to save and invest for the future and to benefit from the success of the company.

  • 401(k) Savings Plan
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan

Paid Time Off

The ability to attend to personal needs and maintain a work-life balance is important. We offer the following benefits to our employees:

  • Vacation (starting with 12 days, year one)
  • Company Holidays (11 days each year)
  • New Parent Leave (5 days; separate from Maternity Leave)

Incentive Program

  • Corporate Incentive/Bonus Plan
  • Patent Bonus Program
  • Employee Recognition Plan
  • Employee Referral Program

Additional Programs and Perks

  • Credit Union membership (available to Sunnyvale employees)
  • On-site dry cleaning (pick-up and drop-off)
  • On-site oil change and car wash service
  • Discounts at local amusement parks and attractions
  • Company events - summer picnic; February gala, seasonal gatherings
Updated March 12, 2015