The da Vinci® surgical robot, an advanced surgical tool that can cost hospitals more than $2 million, is now used in more than 2,000 medical facilities around the world. The robot is capable of performing complex laparoscopic surgeries, such as hysterectomies and prostate removals, while surgeons remotely control the machine using a separate interactive console.
The increasing popularity of the da Vinci robot has raised questions about its benefits, while several studies have failed to prove its safety and efficiency. Furthermore, critics argue that hospitals are allowing surgeons without proper experience to perform procedures using the robot. Since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000, limited training and credentialing opportunities are available to doctors.
What risks are associated with the da Vinci® surgical robot?
Hospitals are eager to advertise their high tech surgical equipment, but the benefits of the da Vinci compared to other surgical methods are still being evaluated. A 2004 study published by the journal Surgical Endoscopy suggested that patients who had adrenal glands removed using the da Vinci robot were more likely to have complications requiring more invasive surgical methods than patients who underwent traditional laparoscopic surgeries.
And while the da Vinci’s 3-D camera and pivoting tools allow for extreme maneuverability during surgeries, the sense of touch that surgeons traditionally rely upon is lost with the robot. Because a surgeon remotely controls the robot, the lack of tactile feedback can make it easier for arteries, nerves, and organs to be cut or burned during a procedure.
The da Vinci robotic surgical system has come under increased FDA scrutiny after a 34% increased risk of incidents—some of which were fatal—were reported from 2011 to 2012. During that period, the number of da Vinci procedures in the United States increased 26%.
What should I do if I’ve suffered complications from a da Vinci® surgical procedure?
If you or a loved one has experienced serious complications during or after a da Vinci procedure, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We want to help you.
da Vinci® is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Intuitive Surgical, Inc.; Surgical Endoscopy; or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.