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Da Vinci Surgical Robot complications

The da Vinci Surgical Robot is a large machine with arms that surgeons use to perform surgeries. A surgeon sits in a console, which gives a 3D view of the surgery while controlling the arms. The surgeries include hysterectomies, prostate removals, gastric bypasses, gall bladder removals and thyroid cancer surgeries. The da Vinci Surgical Robot provides a greater range of motion for the physicians and the ability to perform a more precise surgery. In addition, the robot surgery results to less blood loss, smaller scars and faster recovery.

The da Vinci robot has also surprised Wall Street in “growing sales but also concerns.” The da Vinci Surgical Robot is manufactured and marketed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California. Sales of the robot are growing, starting with 40 machines in 2000 and increasing to 2,500 in 2012 and 450,000 surgeries. Hospitals all around the country have this machine and surgeons perform countless surgeries using the robot. It has been marketed as a way to increase their revenue and gain market share. Hospitals and physicians around the country, regardless the cost of $1 million dollars to make and use, have not been deterred and continue to use this product to perform surgeries. Intuitive Surgical Inc. pays for doctors to have a two-day tutorial on the product and ensure doctors are performing the best surgeries possible. Some hospitals continue their own training on the product while other hospitals allow their surgeons to perform surgeries after just two days of training. Many lawsuits have resulted from inexperienced and uneducated physicians using the robot.

Always ensure your surgeon is experienced and well trained. This is one way to prevent from malpractice and complications for you or a loved one.

The FDA’s Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database is the best source for medical adverse events. Since 2000, the database shows reports of at least 85 deaths and 245 da Vinci-related injuries.

These injuries could result from numerous incidents but one da Vinci lawsuit has resulted from surgical tips (scissors) of the arms that were not insulated. According CNBC, “micro-cracks” in some models of Intuitive Surgical’s monopolar curved scissors can cause leaks that “may create a pathway for electrosurgical energy to leak to tissue during use and potentially cause thermal injury”. The article goes on to say that “these micro-cracks may not be visible to the user.” Because of these cracks, an electric current jumps from the tip of the arm to healthy internal organs and tissue. It is a spark that is burning the organs and leading to severe injuries and even death.

Da Vinci Surgical Robot injuries include surgical burns to arteries or organs, peritonitis (painful and tender inflammation of the lining of the abdomen), sepsis, excessive bleeding, burning of nearby organs including the intestines, punctured blood vessels, organs or arteries, burns and/or tears of the intestines, bowel injuries, punctured or cut ureters, vaginal cuff dehiscence (reopening of the incision made to remove the uterus and cervix during a hysterectomy), additional surgical procedures following robot surgery, swelling of the belly, no appetite, a fever, and wrongful death.

Some critics say Intuitive Surgical Inc. is ignoring the defect of the tip of the arms and care more about profits from the product.

The da Vinci Robot is a groundbreaking invention. It has created better surgeries for surgeons and greater results for patients. However, a defective tip on the product is harming innocent patients, which could lead to serious injuries and even death. Every patient deserves justice. Technology and the advancement of our world should not lead to something worse. This machine was designed to help and improve surgeries, not create more complications.

If you or a loved one has experienced a situation similar to this please give us a call. No one deserves poor medical treatment. We accept all cases regarding defective or unsafe medical device.


Borchardt Law Firm represent clients in Texas in cases similar to this one. Feel free to give us a call.
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