An increasing number of surgeries are conducted with the assistance of robots – and the medical malpractice claims arising from such surgeries is beginning to increase.
Doctors who perform robotic surgery sit and video-game style consoles and watch a high-definition monitor hooked to a 3-D camera that shows the work being done inside of the patient. The arms of the robot are equipped with surgical tools, and the arms are manipulated by a combination of foot pedals and hand controls. Watch this video to understand how the da Vinci Surgical System is supposed to work.
A question that has arisen is whether the doctors using these robots are properly trained. To date, no fewer than 10 lawsuits have been filed arising injuries occurring during robotic surgery, and training is an issue raised in most lawsuits.
The only company in the United States that is cleared for use for soft tissue surgery is made by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., a company based in Sunnyvale, California that had over $2 billion in revenue in 2012. Read more about the da Vinci Surgical System by clicking on the link.
A governmental entity in Massachusetts has noted that it has received an increasing number of reports of patient complications related to robot surgery in the last two years. The Report concludes as follows:
Health care facilities should utilize a “systems approach,” as they move into the emerging and expanding field of robot-assisted surgery. Developing innovative and adaptive credentialing, pre-operative assessment and other processes that reflect the evolving nature of the field will help to ensure adequate patient protection. As with any new technology, care should be taken that protocols are in place to e ensure appropriate patient selection and the full explanation of risks and benefits for all surgical options. Education and guidelines for the perioperative and post-operative teams, particularly those personnel or units new to robotic surgery, are important steps for assuring that these surgeries are performed safely, and that there is prompt recognition and treatment of any patient complications.
This site touts the benefits of robotic surgery. This article from the New York Times questions whether the benefits of robot-assisted hysterectomies are worth the higher cost of those surgeries.
If you experienced a bad result after surgery of any type, including robotic surgery, call the Law Offices of John Day, P.C. for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 866-812-8787, Of course, the fact that a surgery did not go as planned does not mean that there is a valid case. Read this Legal Guide about medical malpractice cases to understand what proof is required to win a medical malpractice case.