The number of hysterectomy surgeries performed with the Da Vinci Surgical Robot has skyrocketed from 0.5% in 2007 to 9.5% in 2010. With 600,000 hysterectomies performed every year, this means that tens of thousands of women are choosing a robot hysterectomy instead of traditional, minimally-invasive vaginal hysterectomies.
UPDATE: Morcellators Increase Robot Hysterectomy Cancer Risk
November 5, 2014 — Doctors are warning that women who undergo a hysterectomy or fibroid surgery with the Da Vinci Surgical Robot are usually treated with a morcellator, which is a surgical tool that can potentially spread undiagnosed cancer. Click here to read more.
What is the Problem With a Robot Hysterectomy?
In recent years, the use of the Da Vinci Surgical Robot for hysterectomy surgery (removal of the uterus) has grown in popularity. Many women are told that a robot hysterectomy is safer, less painful, and has faster recovery than a non-robotic hysterectomy. While this is true when the Da Vinci robot is compared to old “open” surgery with large abdominal incisions, the benefits are not clear when the Da Vinci hysterectomy is compared to modern, minimally-invasive surgical methods (laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy without abdominal incisions).
According to Dr. James T. Beeden of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in an article published in March 2013:
“Robotic surgery is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy. … Aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing of the latest medical technologies may mislead the public into believing that they are the best choice.”
In addition to concerns about “aggressive” and “misleading” marketing for robot hysterectomies, a growing number of women have been seriously injured by mechanical malfunctions, surgical errors, burns and electrocutions, and other serious injuries.
In February 2013, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study of robot hysterectomy surgery, and they found robot hysterectomies were no better than laparoscopic hysterectomies, but robot surgery was about $2,200 more expensive.
Robot Hysterectomy Lawyer
Our robot hysterectomy lawyers are concerned about the large number of women who are being misled by aggressive marketing of the Da Vinci Surgical Robot into choosing a robotic hysterectomy when there is little evidence to support marketing claims that it is superior to other minimally-invasive hysterectomy surgeries.
Our robot hysterectomy lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income or employment
- Disability or long-term injuries
- Wrongful death of your loved one
- Punitive damages against Intuitive Surgical
Robot Hysterectomy Injuries
At a cost of $1.7 million per Da Vinci Surgical Robot, with $125,000 per year in maintenance fees and at least $2,000 per procedure for single-use instruments, hospitals have an incentive to encourage robot hysterectomies to recover costs.
Unfortunately, a number of robotic hysterectomy injuries have occurred when doctors were not properly trained to use the robot — some doctors have testified that Intuitive Surgical certified them to use the robot after as little as one day of training.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received a growing number of injury reports. By March 2013, the FDA had as many as 4,600 adverse event reports involving everything from harmless mechanical malfunctions to severe injuries that resulted in death.
Robot hysterectomy injuries have been reported to include:
- Burns or electrocutions to arteries and organs
- Surgical errors
- Robot malfunctions
- Excessive bleeding, which mare require blood transfusion
- Punctured blood-vessels, bowel, or organs
- Sepsis (whole-body inflammation in response to bacterial infection)
- Need for additional surgery