In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the da Vinci Surgical System to provide surgeons greater range of motion while performing urologic, laparascopic, and gynecologic surgeries. Currently, the da Vinci robot is used in over 2,000 hospitals nationwide. Since its original approval, use of the da Vinci robot has expanded to include hysterectomies, thyroid and prostate cancer procedures, and heard surgeries.
Since its original FDA approval, injuries associated with the use of the da Vinci robot have grown exponentially. In 2009, the FDA received 24 adverse advent reports associated with using the da Vinci robot. By 2012, that number had grown to 115, and continues to grow each year.
In May 2013, Intuitive, the manufacturer of the da Vinci robot, issued a warning to hospitals that the da Vinci robot could burn patients during their procedures. According to the warning issued, the robot’s hot shears were prone to cracking, which creates a pathway for an electrical charge, which results in burns to the patient. Despite the growing number of adverse event reports and the company’s own warning, Intuitive chose not to recall the hot shears, but instead told hospitals that it would replace the shears as the part became available, which took weeks.
In addition to the risk of surgical burns while using the da Vinci robot, use of the da Vinci robot can lead to laceration or cutting of organs, excessive bleeding, punctured vessels or organs, intestinal tearing, and even death. Unfortunately, many of these injuries remain unknown until days after the procedure, which leads to greater harm.
If you or a loved one has undergone a surgical procedure where the da Vinci robot was used, please contact us today at 713-869-1240 for a free case evaluation.