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DaVinci Robot Surgery

Potential Surgical Robot Lawsuits

Heninger Garrison Davis is currently investigating potential surgical robot lawsuits on behalf of victims of the da Vinci Surgical Robot. The da Vinci Surgical Robot, manufactured and marketed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., has been used in thousands of hysterectomies and prostate removal surgeries around the country, and is increasingly being used to perform other procedures, including gastric bypasses, gall bladder removals and thyroid cancer surgeries. However, several lawsuits involving da Vinci Surgical Robot procedures allege that patients have suffered serious, and even deadly, injuries including:
• Tears and/or burns of the intestines
• Punctured blood vessels
• Cut ureters
• Severe bowel injuries
• Vaginal cuff dehiscence
• Excessive bleeding
• Death
• Burns and/or tears of the intestines
• Punctured blood vessels or ureters
• Severe bowel injuries
• Vaginal cuff dehiscence
• Excessive bleeding
• Death

The da Vinci Surgical Robot is a massive machine operated by a surgeon from a console with joystick-like controls. It was designed to give surgeons a range of movement greater than the human hand, and allows them to perform abdominal surgeries without cutting open the stomach. During a da Vinci procedure, robotic arms are placed in the patient to burn away tissue, so a diseased organ can be removed. Ideally, use of the da Vinci Surgical System in minimally invasive surgery should lead to less blood loss, much smaller scars and a faster recovery for the patient.
A single da Vinci Surgical Robot can cost over a $1 million, but their high cost has not deterred hospitals from investing in this technology. According to a report published by the Chicago Tribune in February 2012, 250,000 hysterectomies and prostate removal surgeries were done with the da Vinci system in 2011. Surgeons are now expanding use of the machines in other procedures, from gastric bypasses to thyroid cancer surgeries. It was recently approved by U.S. regulators for gall bladder surgery. Unfortunately, few randomized studies have been conducted to demonstrate that patients do best if procedures are performed with the da Vinci. Regulation of such devices by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is also light, the report said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Intuitive Surgical has marketed the da Vinci to hospitals as a way for them to increase their revenues and gain market share. Critics have also expressed concerns about the way surgeons are trained on the da Vinci. When a hospital purchases a robot, Intuitive Surgical pays for a two-day training course for two surgeons. While some hospitals have established intensive da Vinci training programs for doctors, others allow doctors to use the machine unsupervised after just a few training cases. Surgeons experienced with the machine told the Journal that proficiency with the technology requires hundreds of cases.

At least one da Vinci lawsuit has alleged that the device suffers from design flaws, including un-insulated surgical arms and use of electrical current which can jump to healthy internal organs and tissue. Various medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Kaiser Foundation have questioned the usefulness of this expensive robotic surgery when considering the risks that are involved in its use.

If you or a loved one suffered serious complications, including tears and burns to blood vessels, intestines and other internal organs, following a surgical procedure involving a da Vinci Surgical Robot, you may be eligible to file a personal injury or wrongful death da Vinci Surgical Robot lawsuit seeking compensation from Intuitive Surgical. To learn more about the legal options available to you, please contact the da Vinci Surgical Robot lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis for a free evaluation by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-241-9779.

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