Friday, January 30, 2015

What Are The Risks of Robotic Surgery?

The medical field constantly has new developments to make procedures safer and more cost-effective for patients, as well as to reduce recovery time. One development in recent years has been the use of robotics to perform certain types of surgery. Perhaps the most well-known type of surgical robot is the da Vinci Surgical System manufactured and sold by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. While the da Vinci robot has many benefits for patients, there have been numerous reported incidents of unnecessary injuries and complications caused by a defective robot. In such cases, the negligent manufacturer should be held responsible for all losses suffered by the patient as a result of the defective product and victims can often recover by filing a products liability claim.

Benefits of robotic surgery

The da Vinci robot was designed intending to improve upon general laparoscopy by allowing a surgeon to control the movements of robotic arms from a more ergonomically comfortable seated position a few feet away from the patient. Additionally, robotic arms can be more accurate and have greater dexterity than human hands, which means that insertions can be more precise with less pain, less bleeding, and less overall recovery time. This allows patients to shorten hospital stays and return to usual activities and work sooner. Robotic surgical systems are used most often in procedures such as hysterectomies, prostatectomy, hernia surgeries, cystectomy, urological procedures, gastrointestinal surgery, and more.

Malfunctioning robots

While many patients have successful robotic surgeries, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports that a robot has malfunctioned and caused additional and unnecessary injuries to patients. Such injuries suffered include the following:

·         Burns
·         Ruptures and tears in surrounding organs
·         Internal bleeding and hematomas
·         Nicked blood vessels
·         Emergency surgeries to fix robotic errors
·         Infections or sepsis after surgery

In other cases, a heavy robotic arm has malfunctioned and struck patients in the face, as well as clamped onto a body part and would not release it until the entire system was rebooted. Many of the injuries resulting from robotic surgeries require substantial additional medical treatment, extended stays in hospitals, and more. Many injured victims are left with permanent disabilities and are unable to return to work or their normal daily activities. They also can experience severe physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma as a result of their injury.

Patients who choose robotic surgery may not be fully aware of the risks of injury involved with da Vinci and similar robots. If a patient suffers serious injuries due to a defective surgical robot, the manufacturer of that robot should be held liable for any losses the patient suffered as a result, including medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, lost income from missed work, pain,  and much more. Cases against large medical manufacturers can be extremely complex and intimidating. For this reason, it is always important to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer who understands how to handle this type of case.

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance today

When your doctor recommends robotic surgery or another type of medical procedure, you should be able to trust that the procedure will be successful and that you will be safe from harm. If you have suffered unnecessary injury due to mistakes that occurred during robotic surgery, the experienced product liability attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida can help you. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation to discuss a potential legal claim in your case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900