By Paul D. Rheingold
As the first firm in New York to file a robotic surgery lawsuit, we wanted to discuss a new brokerage house review as to the stock value of Intuitive Surgical, the da Vinci robot machine manufacturer. This 64-page investor report by Northland Capital Markets, dated March 4, 2013 confirms the risks and defects of robotic surgery which our litigation team has seen over the last year.
In our role as representing persons injured through the use of the da Vinci machine, we are not of course interested in the financial aspects of the company, but we are desirous to learn more about its risks. In the process of trying to show that the stock of Intuitive is overpriced, the Northland analysis presents much detailed medical information about the risks of using the robot. Northland uses a very objective, unbiased analysis which concludes that a fair price for Intuitive Surgical's stock may be over 20%lower than current value.
Here is some of the medical information about surgery for cancer of the prostate (prostatectomies). Urinary incontinence is one major adverse condition which is associated with doing robotic prostate surgery, and the rate of this serious injury is compared with doing surgery in other methods. There are various surgical approaches that reduce the risk.
Another unfortunate side effect of prostate surgery is erectile dysfunction (ED). The data in the report compares the risk of ED using the robot versus other methods. Techniques are discussed to spare the nerve that invigorates the penis.
The Northland Securities articles also discussed the role of the surgeon's experience in doing prostate surgeries. They quote various sources which say that to become proficient, the surgeon should have done this surgery 250-500 times! Others say over 100-200 times. The question we have is, how about the first 100-250 patients-are they guinea pigs?
Our senior partner Paul D. Rheingold continues to press litigation for serious injuries and wrongful deaths associated with the da Vinci robotic surgery system. He has reviewed over one hundred potential claims, filing suits for meritorious claims. Medical malpractice can also occur, and we file those suits, too. Our firm was the first to file in New York State courts, and we are the only New York State firm who has obtained discovery documents against Intuitive Surgical.