Robotic surgery is the latest thing in hospital technology where the surgeon uses a computer to control the robot instruments by remote control. A million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci is being used nation-wide in 400,000 surgeries. Once the patient is given anesthesia the surgeon sits a computer near you and inserts the instruments through small incisions. The incisions are smaller than the ones used for normal surgery and easier to insert than standard endoscopic surgery, and it’s similar to laparoscopic surgery. The more invasive surgeries are now less invasive.
The surgeon can see more easily during robotic surgery
Since the cuts are smaller and less invasive, robotic surgery can mean faster recovery, less pain and bleeding, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and smaller scars.
But the new technique isnt’t without its freak accidents
Accidents and even some death have occurred while the robot was in use. The robotic hand wouldn’t let go of tissue in its grasp during surgery and an arm hitting patients in the face.
Some surgeons think it’s time to slow down the robot usage
The excitement and “wow” factor of heavy marketing are exciting hospitals into buying before all of the kinks and bugs have been worked out. Some surgeons think there’s just not enough research saying that robotic surgery is better than a surgeons hand during conventional surgery.
The FDA is not happy with the amount of serious accidents being reported
500 accidents have been reported since January 1, 2012; an upcoming paper co-authored by Dr. Martin Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon says there are “catastrophic complications” and many of the accidents are going under-reported, and the claims on hospital websites promoted hospital surgery often using wording from the manufacturer exaggerating claims r misleading unproven claims.
The technology is making it easier for surgeons to get into hard to reach places such as in obese patients, neck and back surgeries effectively and precisely.
- A Chicago man died after spleen surgery.
- A woman dies during a hysterectomy with the robot accidently nicked a blood vessel.
- A robotic arm wouldn’t let go of tissue during a colorectal surgery and a total system shutdown was necessary to get the “jaws” of the grapser to open, the patient wasn’t injured.
- During prostate surgery a man’s colon was perforated.
Around the world 1.5 million surgeries have been done using the da Vinci system
In the U.S. 1,400 hospitals-1 out of 4-have at least one da Vinci system. Each system costs $1.45 million dollars plus a$100,000 service agreement.
The man who died from the spleen surgery in a lawsuit the patient’s surgeons claimed, “it was like taking an 18-wheeler in for a quart of milk,” the surgeon’s use of the robotic arm lead to accidently punctured intestines, leading to a fatal infection. Conventional surgery is not without its serious accidents, along with infections that can lead to death. Why add insult to injury.
In a 2010 New England Journal of Medicine essay the health policy stated a surgeon must do at least 150 medical procedures with the da Vinci system before becoming adept. A Company spokesman, Geoff Curtis said, the company shows the surgeons how to use the robot and it doesn’t show the surgeons how to do the specific procedures.