The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Urology offers the full range of surgical options for patients, including minimally invasive and laparoscopic procedures, advanced robot-assisted surgery, closed transurethral procedures and traditional open surgeries.

Highly Experienced Surgeons

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Our urologists specialize in minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures, including:
  • Brachytherapy, the use of tiny radioactive “seeds” to destroy prostate cancer
  • Laparoscopic or robotic prostatectomy, to remove the prostate
  • Laparoscopic or robotic nephrectomy, to remove a kidney
  • Laparoscopic or robotic cystectomy, to remove the bladder
  • Microscopic vaso-vasostomy (vasectomy reversal)
  • Microscopic testicular sperm retrieval, for in vitro fertilization
  • PVP (photovaporization of prostate) laser ablation of the prostate
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of kidney tumors
  • Shock wave lithotripsy of kidney stones
  • Sacral nerve stimulation (Interstim), to treat urinary incontinence
  • Transurethral and percutaneous removal of kidney stones
  • Urinary sling, to treat female urinary stress incontinence

Mass General urologists perform some of the highest volumes of minimally invasive urological procedures in New England. As part of our approach to care, our urologists will recommend the least invasive and most effective method to treat your condition, factoring in your health history, lifestyle and care preferences.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Most minimally invasive procedures involve a few very small incisions; some require none. Many procedures can be done on an outpatient basis.

When compared with open surgery, minimally invasive procedures offer benefits including:

  • Quicker recoveries
  • Fewer and/or smaller scars
  • Dramatically reduced bleeding
  • Faster return to normal daily activities
  • Shorter hospital stays

Robotic Surgery: The da Vinci Surgical System

Massachusetts General Hospital uses the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic system that makes it possible to perform delicate and complex procedures with a great degree of precision. This is especially important in highly vascular areas in the human body, such as the pelvic area.

During robot-assisted surgery, a highly trained urologist operates robotic arms that remain under his or her complete control at all times. Advantages to robot-assisted surgery include the same advantages of other minimally invasive techniques plus increased precision and maneuverability.

Leaders in Minimally Invasive Urology

Our urologists have been performing minimally invasive and transurethral procedures for many years.

Every year Mass General urologists perform hundreds of minimally invasive procedures. The hospital’s close collaboration with Harvard and MIT encourage the design and invention of new procedures, breaking new ground in patient care with contributions such as:

  • Working with the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, cofounded by Mass General, to develop and refine minimally invasive treatments
  • Conducting major clinical trials, such as our current study that compares outcomes among prostatectomies performed with open, laparoscopic and robotic methods
  • Exploring new technology platforms, innovative instruments and advanced systems of care for performing minimally invasive surgical procedures through the Mass General Operating Room of the Future

Technology never dictates how we treat patients. Instead, the cornerstone of our practice is our urologists' depth and breadth of expertise and the individual needs of each and every patient.


Explore minimally invasive options that can be used to treat urological conditions ranging from kidney stones to cancer.

The Facts About Minimally Invasive Treatments

Minimally invasive procedures and robot-assisted surgery are often discussed in the media and in advertising. Separating fact from fiction can be challenging. If you have any questions about the pros and cons of these treatments, please contact us.