Two surgeons at UC Irvine Medical Center in California have spent the last 10 years promoting a remote-controlled device named in a growing number of da Vinci robot lawsuit claims and downplaying its potential to cause patient injury, according to a recent report.

On September 23rd, an article from the Orange County Register revealed that Intuitive Surgical had paid one of the doctors at least $107,000 to back the da Vinci Surgical System since 2002. Between 2002 and 2010, the company gave more than 60 lectures touting the benefits of robotic surgery in France, India, China, the Czech Republic and Italy, to name a few. He now performs 10 procedures aided by the da Vinci, including robotic prostatectomies, each month in UCI’s Robotic Oncology Center.

Another doctor told the Orange County Register that he has traveled around the world to lecture about the da Vinci as well, which cost the company between $4,500 and $30,000 since 2009.

Medical Researchers Tout Surgery Robot, Downplay Complications Alleged in da Vinci Lawsuit Filings

Despite the recent scrutiny over the safety of the da Vinci Surgical System, and whether the device has the potential to cause surgical burns, cut ureters, bowel injuries and other robotic surgery complications that may lead to death, medical researchers quoted in the article continue to defend its innovativeness in performing minimally-invasive procedures.

“I could see this was the future and that this was giving us super-human powers,” one doctor said. “To change things for the better is a rare and wonderful privilege.”

Both surgeons also authored scientific papers touting the da Vinci, which is now used to perform hysterectomies, prostatectomies, thyroid surgeries and other minimally-invasive procedures. The device was originally approved to aid in urologic, laparoscopic, and gynecologic procedures.  In July 2013, Intuitive Surgical disclosed that it had been named in 33 da Vinci lawsuit filings alleging life-altering injuries stemming from use of the robot.

NBC News reported in June that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received more than 200 da Vinci-related adverse event reports—including 89 patient deaths—since 2007. The agency is currently investigating the reasons for this increase.

Was Your Loved One Injured by a Robotic Surgery? File a da Vinci Lawsuit

Seek the legal aid of an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP to learn more about filing a da Vinci lawsuit. The Firm can be reached at (877) 779-1414.

Published September 27, 2013 by