Can robotic surgeries result in surgical error and injury?

With advances in technology, no industry goes unaffected. Many people and industries benefit from the technological advances that have, generally, brought people forward and onward. But, technology is not made or used without error. The medical industry has seen many surgeries and other types of medical treatments utilize technological machines, or robots, to perform surgeries and other medical procedures.

One specific robotic surgical tool, the da Vinci Surgical System, has been used in hundreds of thousands of surgeries since its implementation in the 1980’s. The mechanical surgical tool has multiple hands that are controlled by the operator at a seated console. There are lots of benefits to using the da Vinci tool to perform surgeries. However, after several surgeries, the FDA has determined that the da Vinci tool can cause surgical accidents and injury.

According to complaints, common patient injuries reportedly include perforated organs and tissue, infections and electrical burns. These injuries are thought to have been caused by a machine malfunction resulting in mechanical problems that reportedly include malfunctioning arms, control freezes and electrical problems. These could easily cause the injuries alleged by those operated on by the da Vinci. Further investigation of the medical robot determined that there were otherwise unreported issues with the da Vinci.

Knowing what is known now, it’s hard to say how many unnecessary injuries could have been caused due to a malfunction with the da Vinci system. With potentially thousands of affected people, it’s difficult to discern what injuries could have been caused or what conditions could have affected people due to a malfunction with the da Vinci. It’s good to be aware of the risk of a potential surgical accident. Only by tracking and calculating a risk can it be diminished or eliminated completely.

Source: FindLaw, “Da Vinci Surgical Robots Injury Overview,” Accessed October 2, 2017