A recent blog in California has touted healthcare innovations offered by the da Vinci Surgical System in head and neck procedures, especially those involving hard-to-reach places like the throat, amidst a growing number of da Vinci lawsuit filings over the device, SFGate.com reports.

According to a blog post from July 3rd, robotic surgeries may have entered medicine at a slower rate given its simplification of many operations, with Stanford Medical Center in California standing out as one of the only hospitals in the area using the da Vinci robot for head and neck procedures, also known as trans oral robotic surgeries.

The author states that this may seem surprising since surgeons using the da Vinci robot to aid in minimally-invasive surgeries began seeing success in procedures in which they formerly had a limited range of movement; like a tumor removal in the throat; in 2005. In that example, a doctor used to have to break the jaw to gain visibility, but with the da Vinci surgery robot, they could access the tumor without need for an incision.

Robot Complications Alleged in FDA Complaints, Da Vinci Lawsuit Filings

However, what the writer in this article fails to point out is that health concerns over the da Vinci Surgical System from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have increased steadily over the past few years. According to a June 14th report from the NBC News program, Rock Center, the agency has received a total of 200 robotic surgery complications stemming from use of the robot. Originally approved in 2000 to aid surgeons in performing urologic, laparoscopic procedures, the da Vinci Surgical System has allegedly caused patients to suffer the following injuries:

  • Surgical burns, tears to organs
  • Surgical burns, tears to arteries and other blood vessels
  • Cut ureters
  • Bowel injuries
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Death

During 2012, NBC.com reported that the da Vinci was used in approximately 400,000 procedures, which included prostatectomies, gastric bypasses, thyroid cancer surgeries, gall bladder removals and hysterectomies.

It is estimated that the da Vinci robot has been adopted by approximately 2,000 hospitals in the U.S. since its launch.

Da Vinci Robot Lawsuit Claims

As of April 2013, a regulatory filing from Intuitive Surgical with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that 26 da Vinci robot lawsuits had been filed over the device. Plaintiffs in these cases allege Intuitive minimized the health risks associated with its product before marketing it to hospitals as a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery methods with quicker recovery times for patients.

Filing a da Vinci Lawsuit on Your Behalf, Behalf of a Loved One

If you or a loved one experienced the complications that have prompted a growing number of patients to file claims against the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical System, you may want to consider calling a lawyer who can help you file a lawsuit. Contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP to speak with the Firm directly at (877) 779-1414.

Published July 5, 2013 by