Robotic surgeries are on the rise due to the aggressive marketing by doctors and hospitals, according to a recent Bloomberg.com article. There are promotions on numerous portals, including doctor and hospital websites, YouTube videos, billboards, and even on radio and television. These promotions hype the advantages of robotic surgeries claiming fewer complications.
However, as North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers we know that they make these claims without any proof and ignore contradictory studies finding no advantage to using robots for surgical procedures. In fact, robot operations haven’t been proven in randomized trials to offer any improved health benefits when compared to standard, less-invasive surgery. Furthermore, some studies show that the robotic surgeries can cost thousands of dollars more than traditional surgeries.
A prime example is a doctor in the Rocky Mountain region who proclaimed that robotic surgery would “replace” traditional surgery. What this doctor failed to tell people was the inherent risks. The doctor actually had 10 patients who suffered injuries or complications between 2008 and 2011, according to an April complaint by the Colorado Medical Board. On those 10 patients who suffered injuries, five patients suffered punctured arteries. Objects were left inside two patients, and others suffered nerve damage. If that wasn’t bad enough, one patient died and another patient required cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Bloomberg News reported that the FDA surveyed surgeons about the robots because of 70 reported deaths involving robotic surgical devices since 2009. Reports of injuries linked to robotic surgery have more than doubled in the first eight months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. As you can see, the use of robotic devices during surgery do not invariably increase the safety or effectiveness of a procedure. If you or a loved one suffered an injury during a surgery that involved a robotic device, consider contacting a medical malpractice law firm to discuss your legal options.