Recently I wrote about some of the hazards and risks associated with the next new shiny object in the surgical world: the DiVinci Robot. Hospitals have forked out millions for these robotic surgery machines, and when this happens, you can expect marketing to follow--in the form of newspaper ads, billboards, and fancy commercials touting the wonders of the robot--as I wrote about here.
Recently, lawsuits in Alabama and Michigan were filed alleging that the DiVinci's imroperl/defective design has harmed patients during surgery. The lawsuits allege that allege that "faulty insulation, stray electrosurgical current and insufficient user training led directly to patients' injuries or deaths." In one case, a patient sustained injuries to her ureter and bladder during a hysterectomy. In another hysterectomy case, a woman died after the robot's current injured an artery and her intestine.
What does this mean for patients who are presented with robotic surgery as an option? It means you should have some serious questions and concerns about it.