Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Robot surgeries may not be safe

Pennsylvania patients who are planning an elective surgery in the near future or have recently had a surgical procedure may be interested in what researchers have found about robot surgery. Despite manufacturer claims that robotic surgery is safer than traditional surgical methods, researchers have found the opposite to be true.

Since 2009, 70 people have died as a result of complications from robotic surgery. Many other people have been injured. Some of the injures sustained by robotic surgery patients included punctured arteries, punctured bowels, objects left inside the patients and nerve damage. According to some patients, the marketing materials provided by the hospital do not clearly convey the risks or explain other surgical options.

Surgeons and hospital personnel reported that salespeople for the manufacturer of the equipment use aggressive marketing techniques promoting their websites and providing a wealth of brochures for the hospital to give to patients. A representative for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that the marketing materials provided for robotic hysterectomies was very misleading. A study by Columbia University found that less than 2 percent of hospitals that offered robotic gynecological surgery information on their websites mentioned potential complications.

Complications during surgery often lead to longer hospital stays and sometimes require additional surgical procedures to correct damage. While a patient is in the hospital, they may accumulate sizable medical bills and lose income because they are unable to work. Medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help a patient harmed by a negligent doctor or medical facility get compensation for the injuries.

Source: Claims Journal, "Robot Surgery Damaging Patients Rises With Misleading Marketing", Robert Langreth, October 08, 2013

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