Furr & Henshaw
Myrtle Beach
843-213-6737
Columbia
803-250-6829
Making You Whole Again

Surgical errors cast doubt on future of robotic surgery

The use of surgical robots in South Carolina hospitals has increased over the years as doctors have discovered that the devices allow them to be more precise and make fewer incisions than with conventional surgical procedures. The publication of a study linking malfunctions of the devices to surgical errors has raised concerns about the safety of robotic surgery.

The study reviewed 71 reported deaths and 174 injuries occurring during robotic surgery from Jan. 1, 2000, to Aug. 1, 2012. A recent federal government survey of 11 surgeons who performed a large number of robotic surgeries reported experiencing equipment malfunctions ranging from robot arms that crashed into each other to patients suffering from a loss of vision and perforated bowels. A recall by the manufacturer of robotic devices in 2013 due to reports of friction that could cause the arms of the device to stall added to concerns about their safety.

Surgical robots began appearing in operating rooms in the late 1990s where they were used primarily by urologists. Today, the devices are used in various types of general, cardiac, and gynecologic surgeries. Surgeons use the robots to mimic the movement of their hands during surgery. Although hospitals claim the devices are safe, reports of the arm of a robot striking a patient or refusing to release tissue during procedures contribute to concerns about the devices.

Surgical errors that can cause serious injury were thought to be reduced through the introduction of robotic surgery. The recently released information about deaths and injuries occurring when robots were used by surgeons might indicate that patients still have reason to be cautious when contemplating surgical procedures. A lawyer might be a resource for answers to the questions and concerns a patient or the family of a patient might have regarding serious injuries due to surgical errors.

Source: Sioux City Journal, "Manufacturer, hospitals say robotic surgery is safe in spite of complications", Dolly A. Butz, January 03, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a response
email us for a response

Contact The Office

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Myrtle Beach Office
1900 Oak Street
PO Box 2909
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578

Phone: 843-213-6737
Fax: 843-448-6445
Myrtle Beach Law Office Map

Columbia Office
1534 Blanding Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: 803-250-6829
Fax: 803-254-7513
Columbia Law Office Map

back to top