Posted: January 7, 2014

The number of robot-assisted surgeries in U.S. hospitals has jumped 60 percent in just two years.  In 2012, approximately 350,000 robotic surgeries were performed for procedures including hysterectomies, prostate surgery, gallbladder removal and heart valve repairs.   

Injuries attributed to the da Vinci Robot system include burns or injury to the intestines, ureters, ovaries, bladder or other organs. Lacerated arteries or blood vessels have also been reported, leading to hemorrhage or even death.  Improper training or carelessness by a physician can be the cause of many of the surgical injuries, and questions are being raised as to how well doctors are trained before using the da Vinci surgical robot on patients. 

Surgical problems during a da Vinci robot procedure can also be caused by a defective product.  In 2008, an urgent medical device notification was sent to hospitals warning them that some of the da Vinci model scissors had micro-cracks in them that could potentially cause electrosurgical energy to leak into surrounding tissue and potentially cause a burn injury to surrounding organs.

A study performed in 2010 found that 56 percent of surgeons surveyed said that they had experienced operative malfunctions while using the da Vinci robotic system.  The FDA is tracking adverse events related to the da Vinci robotic surgical system. Forty-three percent of the injuries occurred during robot-assisted hysterectomies, and one-third of the deaths occurred during gynecological procedures.

If you or someone close to you was injured during robotic surgery, you may want to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer or lawfirm that handles robotic surgery lawsuits to find out more information.