Doctors support robotic surgeries

People of all ages in Woodbridge, New Jersey, may be affected by the massive recall announced by Intuitive Surgical Inc. towards the end of 2013. The predominant fear for most parties affected centers on the increased likelihood and implications of a medical malpractice case if one of the robotic surgical systems ever does go haywire. A surgeon at Mercy Medical Center likens the robotic da Vinci Surgical System to using forceps, a scalpel or any other tool available in the operating room.

This particular surgeon has used the robotic system to perform surgeries on kidney cancer, prostate cancer and reconstructive kidney operations as well. The robotic surgical systems are designed to enable surgeons to operate with more precision and fewer incisions. However, an August 2013 report from Journal of Health Care Quality revealed that complications for the robotic surgery system had gone underreported.

From January 2000 through August 2012, there were more than 70 deaths and more than 170 nonfatal injuries reported to the FDA. The authors of the study also found five reports that were never filed with the FDA. The FDA released its own survey in November 2013 of 11 surgeons who had completed 70 to 600 operations throughout the past three years. The surgeons reported problems with drifting and collisions while using the system. In December, Intuitive Surgical Inc. issued a recall that encompassed more than 1,380 robotic arm systems around the world.

There are many doctors in the United States who are publicly praising the robotic systems because they haven't personally experienced any significant drawbacks themselves. Intuitive Surgical Inc. claims it checks the robotic systems each quarter, while some hospitals claim they check the system on a daily basis. Any patients who have suffered complications due to malfunctions in the da Vinci Surgical System may benefit from conferring with legal counsel as soon as possible.