The past year has not been a pretty one for shareholders of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG). A perfect storm of lawsuits, questioning of efficacy by public health officials, and tightened purse strings because of the Affordable Care Act have led shares down by as much as 30%.

But the stock market is a forward-looking entity, and there's still a lot to be excited about when it comes to Intuitive Surgical. The company's release of its new Xi machine has the potential to reignite system sales, and lead to greater advantages in the operating room for surgeons.

Those advances, however, won't take place over night. Because of that, it's important to know what progress will look like when the company reports earnings this week. As someone who counts shares of Intuitive Surgical as 4% of my real-life holdings, here's what I'll be watching.

Brian Stoffel owns shares of Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool recommends Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intuitive Surgical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.