According to the findings of a new study, robotic surgery for some gynecologic procedures not only results in higher medical costs, but also increases the risk of serious complications for patients. In the study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center found that complication rates for robotic surgery performed using the da Vinci Surgical System or similar devices could be twice as high when compared to traditional surgical procedures. Furthermore, robotic surgery was also found to add more than $3,000 to the cost of the medical procedure in some cases. If you have suffered complications of robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System, contact a product liability attorney today to discuss your legal options.
The da Vinci Surgical System is a complex robotic platform designed to help surgeons perform minimally-invasive procedures using remote controls that work the device’s four robotic arms. With the surgical robot, surgeons are able to perform a variety of gynecologic, urologic and other laparoscopic surgical procedures through a small incision, which helps reduce recovery time and lower the risk of surgical complications. However, serious concerns have been raised recently about the safety of robots like the da Vinci Surgical System, as a growing body of research has identified a host of potential complications that may arise during or after robotic surgery.
In this latest study, researchers examined data on 87,514 women from a national database who underwent surgery on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or ovarian cysts via robot-assisted surgery or a laparoscopic procedure. According to their findings, for oophorectomies, in which one or both ovaries are removed, use of the da Vinci robot resulted in a 3.4% rate of surgical complications, compared to only a 2.1% rate when traditional laparoscopic procedures were used. When it came to removing ovarian cysts, the complication rate for the da Vinci system was 2.0%, compared to 0.9% for laparoscopic surgery. Furthermore, robot-assisted oophorectomies cost an average of $2,504 more than laparoscopic procedures, and $3,310 more than laparoscopic cystectomies.
Although the da Vinci Surgical System has been increasingly used in hospitals across the country in recent years, the findings of this new study suggest that the potential risk of complications and increased medical costs associated with robotic surgery may not be worth the possible benefits. “Compared with laparoscopic surgery, robotically assisted adnexal surgery is associated with substantially greater costs and a small, but statistically significant, increase in intraoperative complications,” the researchers wrote. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of da Vinci robotic surgery, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with a knowledgeable lawyer who has experience handling robotic surgery injury claims.