Defectively Designed Surgical Robot
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
Since its approval in the United States in 2000, the Da Vinci Surgical Robot System manufactured and marketed by Intuitive Surgery, Inc. (ISI), has been popularly used in various types of surgeries. However, recent medical studies calling into question the higher costs of robots over traditional surgeries have lead to further scrutiny of these surgeries. There are cases where countless patients have experienced serious and life-threatening complications from the remote-controlled robotic surgery. Lawsuits over the da Vinci robot allege that the machine is defectively designed, among other things. Our firm has seen an increase in clients calling who have experienced poor results and complications.
In certain cases, the monopolar energy used with the da Vinci system may cause injuries to surrounding parts of the body. The electrical current can also pass outside the surgical field as a result of possible problems with insulation for the arms, which may become worn or torn in places, without awareness of the surgeon. Da Vinci lawsuits have alleged that the device suffers from other design flaws, including un-insulated surgical arms and use of electrical current which can jump to healthy internal organs and tissues. These da Vinci robot injuries may result in rigorous complications days later, which involve additional surgery, cause permanent injury or in some cases, death.
ISI provides reassurance that using this system will lead to less invasive surgery with a smaller incision, which reduces recovery time and is supposed to provide the surgeon with a greater range of motion than the human hand. However, many medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Kaiser Foundation have questioned the effectiveness of this expensive robotic surgery when considering the risks that are involved in its use. Despite the fact that a single Da Vinci Surgical Robot can cost over one million dollars, hospitals continue to invest in the machine.