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Da Vinci Surgical System controversy


Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 05, 2014 in Surgical Errors

Recent warnings about robotic surgery have been linked to several injuries and deaths. The da Vinci robotic surgery system is reported to allow the surgeons to perform more complex procedures with fewer incisions. Both manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic system and the hospitals say that the equipment is safe to use. The patients in Connecticut may rest assured that the system is checked regularly and maintained per manufacturer's recommendations.

The da Vinci Surgical System has been designed like a computer and performs consistent self-analysis. The system is also monitored via remote connection by the company. It is furnished with a vision component, console and the patient's cart. The operation is executed by a well-trained physician using a set of three or four robotic arms. Surgical errors may occur regardless of what type of instrumentation is used. However, the da Vinci system shuts itself down if any malfunction during the surgery occurs. The surgeon also has an option of activating the emergency button and is able to complete the operation manually.

One of the most common surgeries performed by using the robotic equipment is prostatectomy, but it is also routinely used in gynecology, cardiac and general surgeries. Originally, the robots were introduced in the 1990s and were mainly used by urologists. The supporting data shows high demand for da Vinci system by hospitals because of its effectiveness.

The Journal of Healthcare Quality has published a study showing that occurring complications may be under-reported. U.S. Food and Drug Administration has conducted its own survey among 11 surgeons who have performed anywhere from 70 to 600 surgeries over the period of three years. The chief complaints were centered on drifting or stalling arms of the robot during the surgery. A medical malpractice lawyer may help someone who has been injured with understanding the complications associated with robotic surgeries.

Source: Sioux City Journal, "Manufacturer, hospitals say robotic surgery is safe in spite of complications", Dolly A. Butz, January 03, 2014