Weighing da Vinci Robotic Surgery

The da Vinci surgical robot has recently been the subject of much criticism due to the multitude of problems that doctors and patients are encountering in hospitals and surgery centers across the United States. There are a few advantages to using the surgical robot. One of these is the minimal invasiveness allowed by its use.

Many stories have emerged detailing the sharp differences experienced by two patients who underwent robotic surgery with the da Vinci robot.* In one case,  a woman suffered with gynecological problems for decades.* After watching her mother suffer the effects of a hysterectomy, she tried to put off any similar surgery for as long as possible.* After her doctor discussed the benefits of robotic surgery, she finally acquiesced and underwent the surgery.* She was so pleased with the results and with being able to walk soon after her surgery that she said she would recommend the surgery to all women.*

That positive story is sharply contrasted, however, by the story of a gentleman undergoing prostate surgery who suffered debilitating nerve damage as a result of his operation.* In that case, the surgeon was being supervised by a representative from the manufacturer of the surgical robot.* When the surgeon was unable to locate the right lateral margin of the patient’s prostate, the surgery had to be switched to an open prostatectomy.* The injured patient has still not recovered the functional use of his previously dominant left hand.* The lesson in these two cases is that the proper use of the surgical robot depends upon many factors, but there are many stories of patient injury. Despite many of the benefits, use of the surgical robot is still dangerous in many cases and may lead to serious injury.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury that may be related to the da Vinci surgical robot, please contact Audet & Partners, LLP by calling us toll free at 800.965.1461. Alternatively, please complete and submit our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page.  Please act now, since the law may limit your right to recovery if you delay.

* Da Vinci has changed patients’ lives — for better and for worse, (Monterey Herald July 2, 2013), http://www.montereyherald.com/education/ci_22706662/da-vinci-has-changed-patients-lives-mdash-better

 

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