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Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is an increasingly important approach in many specialties, where robots are poised to play an important role in displacing the limits set to such techniques through increased precision and dexterity. However, the potential of robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) is still far from being fully exploited because of the newness of the approach. One of the best immediate solutions to remedy this discrepancy is through a more efficient preparation of the intervention. This paper presents a two-step strategy to optimize the most critical settings of an RMIS intervention, namely, the port placement (incision sites for minimally invasive access) and the pose of the robot (initial configuration of stationary joints). The first step relies on a patient-dependent modeling of the intervention by the surgeon that is transformed into an optimization problem where criteria such as visibility and dexterity serve as a cost function. The second one, referred to as the pose planning problem, aims at guaranteeing a collision-free operation of the robot throughout the intervention, by properly assigning stationary extra flexibility at the beginning of the intervention, under the constraint of ensuring the fixed positions of the minimally invasive port access.