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Despite widespread use, FDA looks into safety of surgical robots

Apr 15, 2013 | Surgical Errors

There is a constant effort to improve medical care. Technological advances have helped people in New York City and beyond live longer. However, new technology is not always foolproof.

The da Vinci surgical robot was introduced more than a decade ago. In 2012, around 450,000 operations were performed with the surgical robot. Doctors who use the surgical robot say they are able to get into smaller spaces in the body.

However, some patients have been seriously harmed by the surgical robot. In one instance, a patient’s bowel was torn during surgery. That patient later died. The Food and Drug Administration has taken note and is investigating these kinds of cases.

A doctor in another state was disciplined recently because patients suffered complications in close to a dozen cases in which the surgical robot was used. He has been charged with unprofessional conduct by the medical board in his state.

More than 2,000 hospitals across the globe have a da Vinci surgical robot system. Despite its widespread use, some say that there is little benefit to patients who choose the robotic system over a traditional surgery.

Whether or not a surgical robot was used in a procedure, patients who are left with serious complications after surgery may have cause to pursue legal action. If it can be shown that a patient’s injuries were a result of surgical errors, they may be able to obtain compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

An attorney who has experience handling medical malpractice cases may be able to assist patients and their families.

Source: ACB News, "Robo-Surgeries Attract FDA Scrutiny," Ron Claiborne and Daniel Clark, April 12, 2013

· Our firm works with victims of medical malpractice. To learn more, please visit our New York surgical mistakes page.