Current Litigation

Should you consider a da Vinci Surgery Lawsuit?

Robot surgeries have caught on quickly at hospitals across the country. Some 367,000 robotic surgery cases were done in 2012, a 26 percent increase from the previous year, according to Intuitive Surgical, the Sunnyvale CA manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical system.

Robot-assisted surgery is similar to conventional laparascopic surgery, in which surgical instruments are inserted into small incisions in a patient's torso and manipulated by the surgeon. In robotic surgery, however, instead of using his own hands to guide the instruments, the surgeon sits at a console in the operating room and uses hand and foot controls to manipulate surgical tools attached to a robot's hands.

With a price tag of more than $1,7 million per robot, $125,000 in annual maintenance costs and up to $2,000 in costs per surgery for single-use instruments, robotic surgery is the most expensive surgical approach available. Many now argue that the higher expense doesn’t necessarily improve patient outcomes in the long-term and robotic surgery lawsuits have become a new normal.

At a time when there is demand for more fiscal responsibility and transparency in health care, the use of expensive medical technology should be questioned when less-costly alternatives provide equal or better patient outcomes.

If you experienced robot surgery complications in a da Vinci procedure, you should consider contacting an attorney to explore your legal options. Da Vinci lawsuits alleging surgical burns as well as other injuries continue to be filed.

Da Vinci Hysterectomy

The proportion of women having their uterus removed using robotic-assisted surgery increased from one in 200 procedures in 2007 to one in 10 in 2010. In March of 2013, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) warned:

“many women today are hearing about the claimed advantages of robotic surgery for hysterectomy, thanks to widespread marketing and advertising. Robotic surgery is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy. Nor is it the most cost-efficient. It is important to separate the marketing hype from the reality when considering the best surgical approach for hysterectomies.”

Following this statement by ACOG comes news that Ob-Gyns are now telling patients that the pricey robotic surgery shouldn’t be the first or even second choice for most women who need a hysterectomy.

Da Vinci Robotic surgery hysterectomy lawsuits have been filed with women alleging that pieces of the da Vinci robot were left inside their body. Other da Vinci robot injuries include surgical burns, cut uterers, tears to arteries, bowel injuries and organ damage.

Surgeries increasingly use the da Vinci Robot

Despite the fact that studies show that there is a long learning curve for robotic surgeries, robotic surgery systems are spreading quickly across the US and uses for them increase.

In addition to hysterectomies, surgeons are also using the robotic systems to perform other surgeries including heart surgeries, prostatectomies, urology procedures, and other operations. Intuitive Surgical makes money by selling the systems and off of the disposable instruments that must be replaced after each procedure.

Commercialization of Robotic Surgery

Where did this sudden increase in robotic surgeries nationwide, come from? Why have hospitals spent the large amount of cash to purchase these expensive surgical systems?

Some argue that the expansion of this technology should have occurred in a more controlled, scientific and scholarly manner. Instead, the expansion of robot-assisted surgeries has been attributed to the marketing genius of Intuitive Surgical and over-enthusiastic surgeons anxious to be early adopters of the newest technology.

Marketing by Intuitive Surgical focused on two avenues – hospitals and direct-to-consumer. Intuitive Surgical understands that an increasing number of patient’s turn to the internet for health-related decisions so they focus much of the marketing for robotic surgery on the internet.

In addition to a web based marketing push, Intuitive Surgical takes their expensive da Vinci surgical system to the people – it is no longer unusual to find surgical robot demos in malls across the country. That is not a typo, Intuitive Surgical invites mall shoppers to operate the $1.7 million da Vinci surgical system from the surgeon’s perspective – sitting at the surgeon’s console, viewing the surgical field from the surgeons perspective and using the robot to control surgical instruments. Of course, events such as surgical robot mall visits lead to local news coverage and more patient buzz.

FDA takes action to Prevent more Chicago da Vinci Robot Surgery Problems

According to da Vinci surgery lawyers, U.S. regulators began surveying surgeons in February 2013.   Da Vinci robot surgery lawyers recently learned that there was a rise in da Vinci robot reports that included as many as 70 deaths since 2009. According to Bloomberg news, a review of FDA records shows that injuries involving robot procedures doubled in the first six months of 2013 as compared with a year earlier.

In July 2013, Intuitive Surgical disclosed that the FDA issued them a warning letter with regards to the FDA inspections in April and May which found a number of deficiencies, including that the company in some cases hadn’t adequately reported device corrections and patient adverse events. Da Vinci robot surgery lawsuits continue to mount as a result of these patient adverse events.

Contact a da Vinci Robot Attorney to File a Claim

Da Vinci Robot lawsuits continue to be filed. These lawsuits claims that a very low-tech problem – wear and tear – can spoil the benefits of using a remote, automated system, injuring patients and forcing the invasive surgery they were trying to avoid.

The da Vinci Robot lawsuits boil down to microscopic cracks in the protective covers insulating some of the tools that da Vinci uses, which could possibly allow electricity to leak out and burn patients. The bad robot surgery lawsuit alleges that da Vinci’s maker, Intuitive Surgical, hasn’t done nearly enough to correct the problem or to warn hospitals and doctors.

If you experienced injuries after undergoing a robot-assisted surgery, you might consider contacting a da Vinci robot lawyer.

Below you will find timely links to news and blogs with regards to the da Vinci Robot Lawsuit:


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