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Health Experts Raise Doubts on da Vinci Robotic Surgery

September 4, 2013

The use of robotic surgery has increased drastically in the past years, making it a popular surgical procedure for patients in the United States. Approximately 400,000 surgeries had been executed by da Vinci, which is a multi-armed robot costing a million-dollars. Da Vinci robot system is equipped with 3-D enhanced visualization and the wristed surgical instruments, which is controlled by the doctor sitting at a console, a few feet away from the operating table. Advocates say patients sometimes, who have less bleeding, are often sent home sooner than with conventional laparoscopic surgeries and operations involving large incisions. Potential risks related to the surgical robot has provoke health experts to worry.

Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the factors that contribute to the problems of the medical device earlier this year. The FDA began a survey of surgeons using the robotic system. This scrutiny helps the FDA to determine whether the growing number of injuries reported is simply because more robotic surgeries are being done, or if they are being caused by the machine itself or by the surgeons, who, critics argue, may have been given inadequate training.

Potential puncturing of the liver and spleen during heart surgery, rectal damage during prostate operation, and a vaginal hernia after hysterectomy are some of the reasons why lawsuits are filed against Intuitive Surgical. There are also a number of cases of unintended burns from the robot’s cauterising tools.


References:

  • rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/14/18958967-robotic-surgery-is-high-tech-tour-de-force-but-is-it-safe?lite
  • news.msn.com/science-technology/is-robotic-surgery-safe
  • huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/da-vinci-robot_n_3042258.html
  • newscientist.com/article/mg21729105.800-robosurgeon-da-vinci-faces-lawsuits.html#.UhPAIdKoFRw

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