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da Vinci Approved in Japan

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 20, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), the industry leader in surgical robotics, today announced that it has received regulatory approval from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to allow marketing of its da Vinci S System in Japan.

Commenting on the announcement, Gary Guthart, President and COO of Intuitive Surgical, said, "We are pleased with the Ministry of Health's decision to grant Shonin approval for the da Vinci S Surgical System. This approval has been a long process for Intuitive, and we are happy to be one step closer to bringing our products to market in Japan. Our focus will now shift toward satisfying the trade and importation requirements necessary for commercialization and to obtain appropriate reimbursement for da Vinci procedures in Japan."

About Intuitive's Products

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is the global technology leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets robotic technologies designed to improve clinical outcomes and help patients return more quickly to active and productive lives. The Company's mission is to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients. Intuitive Surgical - Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand(TM).

About the da Vinci(R) Surgical System

The da Vinci(R) System is a breakthrough surgical platform designed to enable complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The da Vinci(R) System consists of an ergonomic surgeon console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance vision system and proprietary EndoWrist(R) instruments. Powered by state-of-the-art robotic and computer technology, the da Vinci(R) System is designed to scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon's hand movements into more precise movements of the EndoWrist(R) instruments. The net result is an intuitive interface with breakthrough surgical capabilities. By providing surgeons with superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort, the da Vinci Surgical System makes it possible for more surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures involving complex dissection or reconstruction. This ultimately has the potential to raise the standard of care for complex surgeries, translating into numerous potential patient benefits, including less pain, a shorter recovery and quicker return to normal daily activities.

Intuitive(R), da Vinci(R), da Vinci S(R), da Vinci(R) Si(TM), InSite(R) and EndoWrist(R) are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

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 the following: the impact of the global economic recession and tightening credit market and related impact on health care spending; timing and success of product development and market acceptance of developed products; regulatory approvals, clearances and restrictions; guidelines and recommendations in the health care and patient communities; intellectual property positions and litigation; competition in the medical device industry and in the specific markets of surgery in which Intuitive Surgical operates; unanticipated manufacturing disruptions; delays in regulatory approvals of new manufacturing facilities or the inability to meet demand for products, the results of the year end audit, and the other factors detailed from time to time under the heading ``Risk Factors'' in our report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, 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 concerning forecasts, revenue growth, procedure growth, future financial results, and statements using words such as "estimate", "project", "plan", "intend", "expect", "anticipate", "believe" and similar 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 to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

CONTACT: Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Ben Gong
408-523-2175
Laura Lee Luna
408-523-2161