Da Vinci Surgical Robot linked to Injuries

The da Vinci Surgical System is a remote controlled robot used to conduct laparoscopic surgery, and it has been linked to a high number of injuries, complications, and deaths.  These reports have spurred concerns that surgeons using the machine may not be properly trained, and that the cost of the machine may not be justified by the results achieved.

The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice has published a report that highlights several complications related to the da Vinci Surgical System.  Some of these injuries include tears and burns to internal organs which may be fatal.

In the report, problems seen at Wentworth-Douglass hospital in New Hampshire are investigated.  One woman received da Vinci injuries so severe that four additional surgeries were required to repair the damage.  Two other patients suffered bladder lacerations.  In spite of these reports, Wentworth-Douglass reports that they have experienced fewer problems with the da Vinci System than other hospitals.

The da Vinci Surgical System is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. It has four arms which are operated remotely by the surgeon using hand controls and foot petals. 

Since the device’s release in 2000, concerns have risen concerning inadequate training of doctors using the system.

In a report published in 2010 by the journal Reviews in Urology, it can take up to 200 surgeries before a surgeon is proficient in the use of this complicated system.  Researchers discovered that patients may experience compromised surgical results when an inexperienced doctor uses the surgical robot system.
Some experts have suggested that the high cost of the device ($1 to 2 million) may put pressure on surgeons to use the system before they are ready.

In a 2012 report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers highlighted minimal benefits in relation to the increased cost of surgery with the robot.

Contact a Medical Device Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered injury as a result of surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact a medical product liability lawyer to learn more in a free consultation.

April 23, 2012 | Tags: Da Vinci Surgical Robot, Dangerous Medical Devices, Defective Medical Devices

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