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Robotic Surgery and Patient Risks in South Florida

The use of technology in medicine has enhanced the way that patients are treated and in many cases, improved results. A new technique using robotic surgery has raised hopes for medical professionals and patients to perform otherwise invasive surgeries with only one incision through the belly button. The robotic technology has been used to perform a range of surgeries including hysterectomies and gall bladder removals.

While any scientific advancement in medicine raises hopes for doctors and patients, the risks are often unknown until it is too late. In this case thousands of patients are suffering because of damage caused by robotic surgery. Our Fort Lauderdale medical injury attorneys are experienced with complex claims, including cases involving negligent doctors and hospitals. We are dedicated to protecting Florida’s patients and in preventing future injuries caused by dangerous medical devices or malpractice.

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The surgery is performed by robotic device while a doctor stands on the sidelines at a console which allows for the virtual performance of the surgery. What was once considered a “breakthrough” in robotic surgery is now being scrutinized for the number of injuries caused to patients. Over the last few years, the surgery has been promoted and marketed, even as a number of patients suffered injuries and complications between 2008 and 2011.

The patients have suffered severe to fatal injuries including punctured arteries and nerve damage. New complaints are being filed against those who used the devices without offering patients an alternative or warning the patients about the dangers of robotic devices.

Despite known risks, the robotic surgeries are becoming increasingly popular, in part due to aggressive marketing campaigns. The robotic surgeries are being hyped up on hospital and doctor websites, billboards, videos and on television without mentioning the complications and potential risks faced by patients. According to some contradicting studies, the robotic devices are no safer than traditional surgery.

There has been a 60 percent spike in the number of robotic surgeries to perform gall bladder removal, hysterectomies, prostate cancer treatment, soft tissue operations, and heart valve operations. The rise of the robot surgery shows flaws in how the FDA regulates the marketing and use of medical devices. Reports indicate that there are only 2 full-time employees responsible for reviewing such devices. This means that many devices are approved and marketed without sufficient testing or dissemination of information on negative results.

Bloomberg reports that there have been 70 deaths since 2009 related to robotic surgeries. The FDA issued a warning letter after an initial inspection requiring that the manufacturer report adverse reactions. Despite this warning, patients continue to face risks and other patients are forced to endure a long recovery after complications. Some have had to have multiple operations to fix problems, requiring months in the hospital and hundreds of thousands in medical bills.

Dangerous marketing campaigns that are perpetuated by hospitals and doctors put trusting patients at risk. Any patient who suffered a serious injury because of a robotic surgery may be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced advocate can identify those responsible on behalf of victims and their loved ones.


If you or a loved one has suffered a medical injury, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

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, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2013

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