Gynecologists Issue Warning on Robotic Hysterectomies — Lawsuits Loom

President James T. Breeden, MD, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has issued a statement on robotic surgery, that begins...
"Many women today are hearing about the claimed advantages of robotic surgery for hysterectomy, thanks to widespread marketing and advertising. Robotic surgery is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy. Nor is it the most cost-efficient. It is important to separate the marketing hype from the reality when considering the best surgical approach for hysterectomies."
Continue reading the entire statement...
Separately, a CNBC investigative report profiles the company that markets the surgical robot known as da Vinci, and raises these concerns:
  • A sharp rise in lawsuits and complaints about injuries, complications and even deaths following da Vinci procedures. At least 10 have been filed over the past two years, most of them in 2012; many more complaints, plaintiffs attorneys says, are headed toward mediation.
  • Surgeons can use the robot to operate on patients after several steps, including at least an hour of online training, four hours watching two full-length procedures online, seven hours operating on a pig and as few as two surgeries, overseen by a more seasoned robotic surgeon. The number of supervised cases can vary by hospital.
  • A high-pressure sales culture driven by quarterly "quotas" on surgical procedures has led sales people to lean on surgeons to do more robotic surgeries, according to interviews with former salespeople and internal emails. 
Read more on CNBC: Robotic Surgery: Growing Sales, but Growing Concerns.

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