Is Robotic Surgery Dangerous?
A quick Internet search of the words “da Vinci surgical robot” produces a series of hits on law firms around the country involved in pending lawsuits. The cutting-edge multimillion-dollar gadget that is making its debut in operating rooms around the world might not be the boon to modern medicine it is touted to be.
What is the da Vinci robot?
The da Vinci robot, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. of Sunnyvale, CA, has been used in 1.5 million surgical procedures worldwide. The robot enables surgeons to operate from a distance, seated, and eliminates the dangers of extreme fatigue and shaky hands. Other advantages include its ability to reach into narrow and delicate passageways, which is particularly helpful during soft-tissue surgeries. The robot is employed most frequently in the following procedures:
- Colorectal and prostate surgeries
- Arterial surgeries
- Obesity surgeries
Many Oklahoma hospitals advertise the availability of robot-assisted surgeries in patient brochures and on their websites. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration initiated an investigation into the robot’s safety issues following a steady stream of complaints and a number of lawsuits.
Surgical dangers and injuries
Incident reports have included a number of deaths and several surgical injuries resulting from robot malfunctions. Accidents have included the perforation of bowel tissue, the nicking of major arteries and the grabbing of internal soft tissue. The robot apparently once slapped a woman in the face during a hysterectomy. Makers of the robot argue that the rise in incident reports is due to the rise in popularity of the robot, and that the overall risks of surgery are in fact reduced by the use of the multi-armed machine.
Currently, one in four hospitals in the United States offer robot-assisted procedures. And 85 percent of prostate cancer surgeries are now performed by the da Vinci.
If you or a loved one has been injured during a medical procedure, speak to a medical malpractice attorney about obtaining monetary compensation for your injuries.