Hospitals, doctors, and device makers frequently tout the benefits of robotic
surgery. However, a new study highlights that it may be more costly and
lead to more complications when compared to traditional, low-tech methods.
The number of robotic surgeries has skyrocketed in recent years, accounting
for 450,000 surgeries performed across the globe in 2012. The benefits
to patients include faster recovery, limited scarring, and a reduced need
for pain medication. Letting robots do the work also lessens the load
for doctors and may also help them maneuver in tight spaces.
San Diego medical malpractice attorneys, we also have concerns that the new technology may not live up to the
hype. In fact, studies show a rise in the patient injury and death rates
associated with robotic surgery. Adverse event reports grew to approximately
50 reports per 100,000 procedures in 2012 from only 13.3 in 2004.
As reported by Kaiser Health News, the
latest research confirms the risks of robotic surgery with respect to surgeries to remove ovaries or ovarian cysts. The study
found that surgeries conducted by robots can cost 80 percent more than
traditional laparoscopic procedures. Even more concerning, patients were
more likely to suffer complications, such as bladder injury, bowel obstruction
or excessive bleeding.
The study “really questions the utility of using robotic-assisted
surgery,” says Dr. Jason Wright, the chief of gynecologic oncology
at Columbia University and the lead author. “More studies need to
be done,” he said, “before it’s accepted as the standard
Given the latest findings, we encourage patients to fully research the
risks and benefits of different procedures and raise any concerns with
their doctors. In some cases, the high-tech procedure may not be in your