Concerns Mounting Over Robotic Surgeries
Multiple media outlets have reported on the rapidly rising use of robotics in surgical procedures. Robot arms, instruments, lasers and even remote-control robot surgeons have drawn attention, bolstered by claims that the robots minimize risk and improve outcomes for patients.
Of course, the robots can also improve speed and reduce costs, leading to the performance of many more surgeries at higher profit margins.
Some published reports have suggested that the use of robots in surgery has surged by more than 20 percent per year in recent years, resulting in nearly half a million surgeries in which more than 2,500 robots participated.
Not surprisingly, there has also been a creeping increase in the number of civil lawsuits filed by patients who were not pleased with their robotic surgeries.
Among other things, some patients have complained about heat burns from certain robotic procedures, and the consequences from this type of harm, like many others, is often noticed only days, weeks or months after surgery on a patient that was sedated during the procedure.
It is too early to know all of the issues that this new technology presents, but some have questioned whether the problems in cases filed to date are more likely tied to the lack of experience, training and skill of doctors who have just started mastering this technology.
Even medical professionals are skeptical about the rapid rise in robotic procedures, and the president of the American Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians has reportedly said that “robotic surgery is not the… best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy.” He added that “it is important to separate the marketing hype from the reality [of robotic surgery] when considering the best surgical approach for hysterectomies.”
Most cutting-edge medical technologies have advanced the state of medicine and medical care, but many technologies over the years have had to be abandoned or at least perfected by careful remediation of flaws in design or production. Thus, it is important as a matter of public policy to insure that the benefits of technological innovations in health care do not come with unacceptable or undisclosed risks.
If you have undergone a form of robotic surgery, and believe that you may have been harmed by the procedure, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to speak with one of our qualified personal injury attorneys. We can help you determine if and how you might have been harmed, and what damages and remedies you can pursue. You can also check out our Website for more information about our law firm, Cogan & Power, P.C.