Considering a da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuit

Patients who went through surgery with the da Vinci Surgical Robot and then experienced serious injuries or even death may want to seek the advice of a da Vinci Surgical Robot lawyer. Though the technology has been promoted as a way to perform less invasive surgeries with smaller incisions and reduced recovery times, a number of individuals have suffered from serious and life-threatening complications.

An Alabama couple, for instance, recently filed a new da Vinci Surgical Robot lawsuit. The plaintiff's da Vinci hysterectomy allegedly caused injuries to her left ureter and bladder. The couple is seeking $490 million in damages.

Technology Marketed as an Improvement for Patients

Approved by the FDA in 2000 for use in urologic, laparoscopoic, gynecologic, and non-cardiovascular thoracoscopic surgical procedures, the da Vinci Surgical Robot has four arms: three for surgical instruments and a fourth with an endoscopic camera. The device is purported to give the surgeon more range of motion, and to provide a less invasive option to many surgeries, leaving smaller scars and reducing blood loss.

According to the manufacturer's marketing materials, the technology has been used for the following surgical procedures:

  • Obesity surgery
  • Endometriosis
  • Throat cancer
  • Prostate removal
  • Heavy uterine bleeding
  • Kidney cancer and other kidney disorders
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Gall bladder removal

Patients Report da Vinci Surgical Robot Complications

Sold by California-based Intuitive Surgical, the da Vinci Surgical Robot costs about $2 million to purchase and around $140,000 per year to maintain. According to plaintiffs who have filed a da Vinci Surgical Robot lawsuit, however, complications from procedures performed with the robot may include:

  • Tears and burns to the uterus
  • Tears and burns to the intestines
  • Tears and burns to the blood vessels
  • Vaginal cuff dehiscence (complication of total hysterectomy)

According to a Wall Street Journal report (May 4, 2010), gynecologists at Wentworth-Douglass also reported da Vinci Surgical Robot complications like lacerated bladders, which required additional surgery to repair.

Da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawyer May Point to Aggressive Marketing

A da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawyer may claim that Intuitive Surgical engaged in an aggressive marketing campaign, forcing doctors and hospitals to purchase the product to appear to be competitive. While few randomized studies have demonstrated better results with surgeries performed by the robot as opposed to traditional surgeries, Intuitive allegedly marketed the da Vinci as a way for hospitals to increase their revenues and attract patients.

A da Vinci Surgical Robot lawyer may claim the device is defective and contains design flaws that can cause injury, or may claim that injuries were caused by a lack of surgeon training. In many cases, a physician will receive only a two-day course before using the robot on live patients. Jim Hu, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, says it takes a urologist anywhere from 250 to 700 cases to master the use of the device.

A da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawyer Can Help

The reports of da Vinci Surgical Robot complications has led many to question whether or not the risks associated with the new technology outweigh any health benefits. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the Kaiser Foundation have already openly raised this concern. A March 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that women treated for endometrial cancer experienced no additional benefits when the da Vinci was used than if they received traditional surgery.

If you or someone you loved has suffered from da Vinci Surgical Robot complications, you may be eligible for a da Vinci Surgical Robot lawsuit. You’re entitled to know the full extent of your legal rights, and may receive monetary compensation if the device is found to be defective, or if the surgeon is found to have lacked sufficient training. For a free and confidential cause evaluation, contact Chaffin Luhana LLP at 1-888-480-1123.