Injuries still common during surgeries using robots


If you have had one of a variety of different surgeries – including prostate or gallbladder removal or a hysterectomy – in recent years, you have likely been informed about the increasingly common use of robots during operations. In fact, just last year, approximately 367,000 operations were performed in which robots were used across the country.

This represents a sharp increase in the number of surgeries using robots performed in the U.S. – in 2008, there were only around 114,000 such operations conducted. These operations are still controlled by surgeons, but the physicians are able to use a robot called da Vinci – made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. – to make the incisions and perform the actual operation.

Reports have shown that surgical errors appear to still be prevalent when da Vinci is used to perform operations. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the number of mistakes made during operations involving robots has been on the rise. In 2012 alone, at least five people were reportedly killed due to surgical errors made in operations in which robots were used.

For instance, in one case a man from New York was having prostate surgery. During the operation, his colon was punctured by the robotic arm. Other cases have shown problems with the robot itself. During a colorectal surgery, the surgeon was unable to get the robotic arm to let go of tissue that it grabbed during the surgery.

Individuals who are injured due to surgical errors would be wise to seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure their rights are protected.

Source: CBS News, “FDA eyes increase in freak accidents during robotic surgeries,” April 9, 2013.

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