Over the last several years, robotic surgery has become increasingly popular in the Pittsburgh area. Most Pittsburgh residents have heard of this type of surgery, and many have opted for it for their own procedures. But, there are risks of surgical errors involved with the surgery that have led to injuries and deaths.
Recently, robotic surgery has seen widespread adoption among the medical community. It is frequently used for minimally invasive surgery, and the benefits can include less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays, less scarring and higher accuracy rate. It is a popular option for performing routine surgeries, including hysterectomies and colorectal surgeries, and with more complicated heart and brain surgery.
But, researchers have investigated incident reports from 2000 to 2013 involving robotic surgery. They have found that between those years, there have been over 140 deaths and over 1,300 patient injuries. The errors include having broken tools falling into patients, electric sparks and robots making unintended movements. More errors have been reported in the more complicated surgeries of cardiothoracic and head and neck. Researchers believe these numbers show there are still problems in the use of robotic surgery and the improper use of medical equipment.
If a patient believes they have been injured because of a robotic surgery, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. The attorney can review the medical records and determine what happened to cause the unexpected injury. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.
Source: NBC News, “Robotic surgery involved in 144 deaths in 14 years,” Keith Wagstaff, July 21, 2015