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Robotic surgery sounds like science fiction, but it’s very real. Aurora Healthcare, Froedert Hospital, and Columbia St. Mary’s routinely use robotic systems to perform gynecological surgery, prostate cancer removal, heart procedures, and other surgeries. Their websites have pages dedicated to the benefits of robotic surgery.

“For the patient, robotic surgery offers all the potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including less pain, less blood loss and less need for blood transfusions. Moreover, robotic surgery can enable a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and faster return to normal daily activities.”

—Columbia St. Mary’s

“In general, this approach is less traumatic than traditional open surgery, with smaller incisions, faster recovery and fewer side effects.”

—Froedert Hospital

All three hospitals use the da Vinci surgical robot system, which was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000 and remains the only robotic surgery system approved for use in the United States. The da Vinci system costs over $2 million dollars, so hospitals and their doctors are under pressure to schedule surgeries in order to pay for the equipment. This pressure gets passed down to the patients. Women are often advised that robotic surgery is the safest option for gynecological procedures.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagrees. They say that robotic surgery is not the best choice for many patients and may not lower the risk of complications. In fact, very serious complications have been linked to the Da Vinci surgical system.

  • A California woman was hospitalized after her bowels fell out of her vagina following a robotic hysterectomy. She suffered permanent and serious damage.
  • A Washington woman was rushed to the emergency room after robotically assisted surgery to treat endometriosis. Her rectum and colon had been turned during the surgery. She required five weeks of hospital treatment.
  • In 2012, a woman died after a doctor accidentally nicked blood vessels during her hysterectomy.

Other injuries associated with the da Vinci system include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Burns caused by surgical instruments
  • Punctures to blood vessels or arteries
  • Punctured or torn organs
  • Inflammation and infection of the stomach lining
  • Torn intestines
  • Severed nerves
  • Bowel perforations
  • Punctured ureters
  • Vaginal cuff injuries
  • Infection and sepsis

There is little or no mention of these risks on the hospital websites. If you were injured during robotic surgery, you deserve accountability. Call Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 to learn about da Vinci injury lawsuits.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
What can be done about these robots and the people they are hurting or killing? My mom had a robotic surgery and passed away a short time later.
by Bobby Jo March 12, 2014 at 05:01 PM
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