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Horrific Consequences of da Vinci Robot Surgical Errors

It seems incredible that in these modern times, horrific things can still happen to patients under the knife. But the reality is, surgical errors often happen when the surgeon is careless, inattentive, negligent or incompetent, and bear the brunt of the liability. In the case of the da Vinci robot, though, incompetence may be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to surgical errors.

It is not easy to learn how to operate the da Vinci surgical system. The surgeon is expected to precisely manipulate surgical instruments using foot pedals and a joystick on a terrain viewed through a monitor. The shift in hand-eye coordination, plus the visual adjustment to a flat monitor rather than actually tissues and organs can lead to surgical errors with quite serious consequences.

One case is a woman whose hysterectomy caused her to herniated her intestines through her vagina because of an improperly closed hole where the cervix. In another hysterectomy, both of the patient’s ureters were accidentally cut, which would require additional surgery to repair and a long bout of pain and discomfort. An elderly man with stomach problems was subjected to hours in surgery because the surgeon had difficulty using the da Vinci system, finally switching to open surgery to finish the job; the man died of a perforated esophagus. At Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in New Hampshire, two patients had their bladders lacerated, necessitating additional surgery in another hospital to repair.

The da Vinci manufacturer Intuitive Surgical Inc. claims that the risks associated with surgery remains even with the new technology. However, those whose lives who have been significantly affected by surgical errors are claiming that the company failed to provide surgeons with adequate warning about the risks associated with using the robot and the training that would make them competent to use it without compromising patient safety. Investigations show that Intuitive’s training module is simply not enough.

If you or a family member has sustained serious injury due to surgical errors made by inadequately trained surgeons using the da Vinci surgical system, you may have an actionable case. Consult with a surgical error lawyer with experience in dealing with da Vinci robot cases.