Robosurgery Causing Deaths: Increased Use of Robotic Surgery Leading to Increase in Robotic Surgery Deaths
Though it sounds like something out of Star Trek, the concept of robotic surgery, sometimes called “robosurgery,” is already here, and a number of hospitals and surgeons have taken to using it. And why not?
With robotic surgery, instead of using their sometimes clumsy fingers and hands, the surgeon gets into a machine resembling an old arcade-style video game and manipulates high-tech robots to perform very delicate procedures. There’s just one problem; they don’t seem to be doing it very well. The machines are causing a number of problems, and those problems are leading to injuries, and a rash of product liability lawsuits.
Most of the devices being scrutinized are manufactured by a company called Intuitive Surgical. Thus far, their machines have been linked to at least 70 deaths. Every week, it seems, a frightening new story comes out that demonstrates their inadequacy at performing intricate surgery.
In one case, a woman agreed to her gynecologist’s recommendation that she undergo robotic surgery to repair growths in her uterus. But since the surgery, she has experienced a number of serious health problems. About a month after the robotic surgery, part of her abdomen simply collapsed, causing an intestine to protrude from her vagina as she went to the bathroom. That led to more surgery (not robotic this time), which left a large abdominal scar, and a number of other health problems.
So far, Intuitive Surgical’s robotic surgery systems are the only ones that have been cleared for use in soft-tissue operations. Last year alone, these machines were used in at least 367,000 surgeries. While random testing shows benefit from robotic surgery systems, there are questions about whether all surgeons who are using them are properly trained to use them properly. Since a number of hospitals have chosen to market robotic surgery as a preferable alternative to traditional surgery, and patients agreeing to submit to such surgery in increasing numbers, this is a problem that needs fixing.
If you or a loved one have been forced to endure the ill effects of a doctor’s use of a robotic surgery device, or a loved one died while a doctor was using such a device, you could be entitled to compensation for your injury or loss. Contact the Texas Medical Device Product Liability Attorney at Hill Law Firm to help you.