Titan Medical Inc. officials announce that it has successfully completed the design and fabrication of beta versions of its highly dexterous instruments for use with the company's Single Incision robotic surgical system. The instruments are designed to meet the requirements for single incision surgery and will offer unprecedented dexterity under robotic control. The instruments were developed in conjunction with a leading medical technology development firm.
"The single incision instruments are highly dexterous, offering seven degrees of freedom per instrument to the surgeon. This unprecedented capability will allow surgeons precise control and capability for single incision surgery at a less expensive price point," comments Dr. Reiza Rayman, president, Titan Medical Inc.
The company is moving forward with the development of its Single Incision robotic surgical system and remains on track to commercialization.
Andre Dawson, right, is shown with Dr. Dipen J. Parekh of the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Miami Marlins’ Andre Dawson preaching awareness after beating prostate cancer
April 26, 2013
As a Hall of Fame baseball player who endured 12 knee operations during his 21-year career and two knee-replacement surgeries after it was over, Andre Dawsonhas always felt confident he could overcome any health challenge thrown his way.
Beating prostate cancer turned out to be another curveball Dawson was able to knock out of the park.
With his doctor at his side, the 58-year-old Miami native and special assistant for the Marlins revealed Thursday that he underwent robotic surgery in December at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to remove a cancerous prostate gland — and that he is now cancer-free.
Dawson’s goal now is to raise awareness about the importance of paying attention to PSA levels (Prostate-Specific Antigen) and how getting tested routinely can help doctors catch the cancer early and save lives.....read more
The Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS) developed by Khurshid A. Guru, MD (left), and Thenkurussi Kesavadas, PhD.
First Simulation-Based Robotic Surgery Curriculum Successful
April 26, 2013
UB researchers have helped develop and evaluate the first simulation-based training curriculum for robotic surgery, which has been shown to effectively train surgeons in key skills.
According to a study published in Urology, those trained with the Fundamental Skills of Robotic Surgery curriculum demonstrated greater precision in surgical skills than those who did not receive training.
RoSS was developed by two of the curriculum study researchers: senior author Khurshid A. Guru, MD, who directs robotic surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), and co-author Thenkurussi Kesavadas, PhD, who directs UB’s Virtual Reality Lab and is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Recruited from UB, RPCI, the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and the Cleveland Clinic, 53 surgeons, fellows, residents and medical students participated in the study. Most had no prior robotic or laparoscopic surgical experience.
Initially, an experimental group completed the four-hour training course while a control group did not.
When tested on the da Vinci system, the trained group performed three tasks with more precision and speed than the control group.
Twenty-three control participants then also completed the training. When they were re-tested on the same tasks, their average performance improved considerably.....read more
When Dr. John Lenihan learned to fly in the Air Force, he trained many hours on a simulator.
Seattle firm's products hone skills of 'robotic' surgeons
April 26, 2013
When Dr. John Lenihan learned to fly in the Air Force, he trained many hours on a simulator.
When he learned to perform robotic surgery, he didn't train a single second on a simulator.
Looking back, that doesn't make sense to Lenihan, but at the time he had no choice. Robotic simulators didn't exist when MultiCare Health System in Tacoma bought a da Vinci Surgical System in 2005.
Today, with the number of robotic procedures growing fast, robotic surgeons can hone their skills the way pilots do with the help of simulation hardware and software developed by a Seattle company called Mimic Technologies.
"We've created a flight simulator for surgeons," said Jeff Berkley, CEO and founder.
Mimic's dV-Trainer is a desktop replica of a da Vinci console. The Skill Simulator is a module that attaches to a da Vinci console. Both use virtual reality technology to provide a realistic training platform that faithfully re-creates the experience of working on patients.....read more
Can Robotics Make Mesothelioma Surgery Safer?
April 24, 2013
A Chandler, Arizona man is recovering after becoming the second person in the world to undergo robotic surgery for pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma invades organ membranes, the chest well, and, often, the lungs. EPP involves removing not only the diseased lung lining, but also the lung itself, portions of the chest wall, the membrane around the heart, and all or part of the diaphragm.
As an open procedure, EPP is considered the most dangerous type of mesothelioma surgery, carrying a high risk of complications and mortality. However, when combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation, it is also one of the most effective mesothelioma treatments, conferring longer survival times on patients who make it through the surgery. The medical community is, however, divided on whether the benefits of EPP outweigh the risks.
But EPP becomes considerably safer to treat mesothelioma when performed robotically. Instead of a large incision in the chest, the robotic system allows the doctor to operate through several smaller incisions.
The doctor sits at a console to maneuver flexible instruments inside the chest cavity. Not only is robotic EPP more precise but, thanks to better visualization with high definition video, it is also less likely to miss any mesothelioma tissue. In addition, robotic surgery offers a reduced risk of blood loss and infection, as well as shorter hospital stays.
“It’s dramatic when you see the patient the next day,” Dr. Gharagozloo said in a University press release. “It’s the difference between a patient on a ventilator and a patient who is sitting there reading a newspaper.”......read more
ProPep Surgical® Secures $1.25 Million in Series A Financing
April 24, 2013
The ProPep Nerve Monitoring System is the first, real-time nerve monitoring system specifically designed for use during robotic surgery.
ProPep Surgical, LLC., a privately-held, Austin-based medical device company developing intraoperative nerve monitoring technologies for minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery, announced today it has secured $1.25 million in Series A financing from Stella Maris Partners. The Company will use the funds to scale up the US sales and distribution of its ProPep Nerve Monitoring System™ and to support initial studies exploring the benefits of real-time, intraoperative nerve monitoring in robotic-assisted hysterectomy and colorectal surgery.
ProPep’s initial product offering, the ProPep Nerve Monitoring System, is currently FDA-cleared and CE-marked for use during robotic-assisted prostatectomy surgery. The System is designed to help surgeons identify the location of and monitor the integrity of otherwise invisible pelvic nerves in real time throughout the surgical procedure. By allowing the surgeon to identify the location of the nerves at the beginning of the surgery, verify the location and function of the nerves throughout the surgery, and validate the preservation of the nerves at the completion of the operation, the ProPep Nerve Monitoring System provides surgeons instant and continuous, real time information on nerve location and function. This information can potentially help the surgeon reduce the incidence of inadvertent damage to these critical nerves and in so doing, potentially reduce the common side effects (e.g., urinary incontinence) often attributed to this nerve damage.....read more
A Da Vinci surgical robot (photo by Nick Dawson via Flickr)
Questions Arise About Robotic Surgery's Cost, Effectiveness
April 23, 2013
In the dozen years since the Da Vinci robot has been approved for surgeries in the United States, it’s been embraced by health care providers and patients alike. Surgeons routinely use the multi-armed metal assistant to remove cancerous prostate glands and uteruses, repair heart valves and perform gastric bypass operations, among many other procedures.
Lately a key study and reports of problems have raised questions about robotic surgery’s safety and cost-effectiveness, leading to a review of the Da Vinci system by the Food and Drug Administration and causing some experts to wonder whether the benefits of undergoing robot-assisted surgery may have been overstated.
At this time, health insurers generally pay for robotic surgery just as they would any other surgical procedure, and patient out-of-pocket costs are typically no different either. That could change, some say, as more comprehensive data become available that clarifies when robotic-assisted surgery helps improve patient outcomes—and when it doesn't......read more
Cincinnati Pelvic Surgeon, Dr. Greg Owens, Announces Ground-Breaking Use of Robotic Surgery to Treat Fallen Bladder Without the Risks of Transvaginal Mesh
April 23, 2013
Cincinnati area pelvic surgeon Dr. Greg Owens has perfected a minimally-invasive, robotic surgery which eliminates fallen pelvic organs and bladder leakage in women suffering from this common, yet embarrassing condition. Now having performed 70 surgeries with 100% success, Dr. Owens is announcing this as a standard of care for women who fit the criteria for surgery. Dr. Owens estimates that about 25% of women between the ages of 39-55 suffer from bladder leakage or other pelvic floor disorders. Unfortunately, many of them never seek medical treatment due to embarrassment or the misconception that it is just a part of aging.
The condition, called pelvic organ prolapse is caused when the muscles supporting the internal organs (uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum) have weakened over time due to aging, childbirth, strenuous exercise or weight gain. When the supporting tissue cannot hold the organs in place, they fall to an unnatural position within the pelvic area, causing a myriad of problems. Women can experience anything from organs bulging from the vagina, to a heavy feeling in the pelvic area, obstructive urinary symptoms, or the strong urge to urinate with no success, and even the inability to have regular bowel movements. While not life-threatening, the problems can affect every area of a normal lifestyle as women are afraid to leave their homes, have no desire for, or experience painful sexual relations, or are uncomfortable doing everyday chores like shopping, housework, or even walking.
With the ability to robotically perform this surgery, the healing is much quicker, less painful and the woman can return to normal activities within a few days.....read more
Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award Conferred on Medtech SAS
April 22, 2013
ROSA(TM) represents a true technological innovation in surgical robotics for neurosurgical interventions
Based on its recent analysis of the surgical robotics for neurosurgical interventions market, Frost & Sullivan recognises Medtech SAS with the prestigious 2013 European Company of the Year Award.
Medtech SAS is commended for its innovative ROSA(TM) system, which successfully addresses the need for an accurate, economical and clinically effective solution for patients requiring neurological interventions.
"As a robotic surgery system, ROSA(TM) performs the function of a surgical assistant for neurosurgical procedures," notes Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Analyst Beulah Devadason. "The integration of all neurosurgical requirements and the broad range of procedures that can be performed using ROSA(TM) make it a true technological innovation in the field of neurosurgery.
"Preoperative planning, surgical navigation and integration of intraoperative imaging are necessary to ensure a high degree of safety and accuracy in neurosurgery. ROSA(TM) is perfectly designed to integrate all these important surgical steps but also to incorporate very precise instrument manipulation.
ROSA(TM) enables open-skull, stereotactic and NeuroEndoscopic surgeries. The combination of planning, navigation and instrument manipulation facilitate shorter surgery times coupled with minimally invasive interventions in a fully frameless environment.....read more
Patients Scarred After Robotic Surgery
April 19, 2013. From the "CNBC.com's Da Vinci Debate" series
As claims of complications after robotic surgery have come to light, lawsuits have been popping up across the country.
Shawn Todd, who lives just outside of Mobile, Ala., thought she was having a routine partial hysterectomy.
For Sonya Melton of Birmingham, it was routine same-day gynecological surgery to treat uterine fibroids.
And for Kimberly McCalla, just 24, it was supposed to be a routine hysterectomy.
But none of the procedures turned out to be routine.
Todd and Melton wound up at what they believe was death's door, hospitalized for weeks from complications from their surgery involving the high-tech da Vinci robot.
McCalla suffered bleeding into her pelvis from a laceration to a main artery during a robotic-assisted hysterectomy, her father claims. She died 13 days after the initial surgery. Her father, who is suing Intuitive Surgical, claims she died "as the result of, among other things, injuries sustained by the use of the da Vinci surgical robot."
"Blood was flowing from her leg, from between her legs," her father, Gilmore McCalla, told CNBC. "And two nurses were there around her, catching the blood with a bottle."
Intuitive Surgical, which makes the da Vinci, declined to discuss their cases because of pending litigation......read more
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Intuitive Lawyer Says Warnings in Robot Surgery Ignored
April 17, 2013
Follow-up on "Intuitive’s First Robot-Surgery Trial to Probe Training"
A lawyer for Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) told jurors that a doctor who used the company’s robot in surgery on a morbidly obese patient who later died ignored warnings that the operation shouldn’t be performed.
Allen Ruby, in his opening statement today to jurors in state court in Port Orchard, Washington, defended Intuitive against a lawsuit claiming that the company’s robotic da Vinci surgical system training was compromised by aggressive marketing, and led to errors in removing a patient’s prostate gland, and eventually caused his death four years later.
Fred Taylor was five-feet, 11-inches tall, and weighed 280 pounds, giving him a body mass index of 39 -- a measurement that should have precluded robotic surgery according to the training Intuitive provided to the doctor, Scott Bildsten, Ruby said.
“Morbid obesity is not a criticism, it is a medical fact,” Ruby told jurors. Bildsten was asked in a deposition what Intuitive taught him “in regards to the physical size of the patient relative to using the da Vinci.”
“Yes, there were suggestions not to do overly obese patients in your initial procedures,” Bildsten said, according to Ruby........read more
Researcher helps improve algorithm for robotic surgeons
April 15, 2013
Even the most experienced and skilled surgeons find surgery to be an arduous and stressful task. The emergence of medical robots that assist surgeons has allowed many surgeries to become significantly safer and more effective. However, before these robots can be utilized in the field, engineers must be certain that the robot will react accordingly in every possible situation that may arise during a surgery.
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon teamed up with physicists and engineers from Johns Hopkins University to develop a universal method of using logical reasoning to identify bugs in medical robots and make sure they perform their required functions successfully.
Researcher Yanni Kouskoulas and his team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University initially designed a medical robot that would aid a surgeon in preforming a surgical procedure at the base of the skull. During the surgery, it is very important for a surgeon to ensure that he or she doesn’t accidentally damage nearby parts of the body. This can pose a larger problem when the surgeon fails to have a full view of the surgical space.
To ensure the safety of the patient, the doctor can use imaging techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomomgraphy (CT) scans to establish the boundaries of the surgical space. The robot recognizes these boundaries and aids surgeons by applying resistance to their movement as they get closer to the edges. It also prevents doctors from leaving the surgical space altogether.....read more
Intuitive’s First Robot-Surgery Trial to Probe Training
April 15, 2013
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of surgical robots used in more than 300,000 U.S. operations last year, faces its first trial over claims it marketed the devices to doctors without providing adequate training.
After seven hours of robotic surgery in September 2008, complications developed and the physician, Scott Bildsten, and other doctors turned to traditional surgery and then emergency care to repair a rectal laceration. The patient, Fred Taylor, died last August of heart failure resulting from injuries caused by Intuitive’s inadequate training of Bildsten, lawyers for Taylor’s family claim.
"A jury could reasonably conclude that the mistakes he made in this robotic procedure were a result of the poor training and lack of warnings he received from Intuitive,” lawyers for the family argue in court filings.
According to its court filings Intuitive claims it has no duty to train doctors on the da Vinci system under Washington law but last month Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jay Roof rejected Intuitive’s bid to throw out the suit and scheduled the trial to conclude in May......read more
World’s first non-invasive whole body robotic surgery technique, CyberKnife, introduced
April 14, 2013
CyberKnife, the world's first non-invasive whole body robotic radio surgery system, is emerging as a new hope for patients diagnosed with inoperable or untreatable tumours or lesions. Dr Sridhar, radiation oncologist at HCG has successfully treated 1,500 cases with CyberKnife in the last four years.
This is his story:
With the advancements in imaging and technology, tumours are diagnosed early, which helps in effecting better treatment with less morbidity and mortality. CyberKnife is an excellent option where surgery is indicated but cannot be performed, like in cases when the tumor is deep in the brain, nearer to a critical structure or due to elderly age.
Not just malignant lesions, even benign lesions, like AV malformations, trigeminal neuralgia and functional disorders can be treated with CyberKnife. It can also treat extra lesions in the body.
CyberKnife is invaluable along with surgery when the tumour cannot be removed completely. When there is metastasis in the brain and when there is more than one tumor, CyberKnife is the preferred modality of treatment.
Side effects of the treatment are less in comparison to other treatments. Patients complain about tiredness after the treatment, or they complain of swelling at the operated part.
The CyberKnife has a number of advantages over other therapies like Gamma Knife.
Unlike Gamma Knife, it is a noninvasive and painless treatment, focused radiation that delivers maximum dosage to the target abnormality without impacting healthy tissue, no frame is used to immobilize the patient during treatment, the treatment is completed on an outpatient basis without the need for a hospital stay......complete story
DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado medical board has accused a surgeon of unprofessional conduct after a series of botched procedures with Porter Adventist Hospital's robotic surgery arm left some patients with severe injuries.
The state alleges that from 2008 to 2010, Dr. Warren Kortz cut and tore blood vessels, left sponges and instruments inside patients and injured patients because of improper positioning. The board says he also subjected some patients to overly long surgeries, and had to abort kidney donations because of mistakes.
According to the Denver Post, Lisanne Leasure, an attorney for Kortz in a negligence suit over one of the kidney patients, said in a statement that Kortz's care was reasonable and appropriate.
*Due to the nature of this case AARS has removed Dr. Kortz' profile and contact information from it's "Surgeon Locater" untill we know the outcome of the court case starting in May.
Rochester, N.Y. - A local doctor is responding to a report this week that scrutinized robotic surgery procedures. Researchers found a rise in complications and deaths.
When examining the report, Dr. Louis Eichel, the chief of urology at Rochester General Hospital, said it's important to know that robots are surgical tools.
"If the surgeon is well trained on how to use the system, and they're an expert on the surgery they're performing, the data and the medical literature shows robotic surgery is just as safe and open surgery, and often has advantages," said Dr. Eichel.
Robot wows surgeons, but freak episodes include robot hand that won't let go, arm that hits
April 9, 2013
The biggest thing in operating rooms these days is a million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries nationwide last year — triple the number just four years earlier.
But now the high-tech helper is under scrutiny over reports of problems, including several deaths that may be linked with it, and the high cost of using the robotic system.
There also have been a few disturbing, freak incidents: a robotic hand that wouldn't let go of tissue grasped during surgery and a robotic arm hitting a patient in the face as she lay on the operating table.
Is it time to curb the robot enthusiasm?
Some doctors say yes, concerned that the "wow" factor and heavy marketing are behind the boost in use. They argue that there is not enough robust research showing that robotic surgery is at least as good or better than conventional surgeries.
"We are at the tip of the iceberg. What we thought was impossible 10 years ago is now commonplace," said Dr. Michael Stifelman, robotic surgery chief at New York University's Langone Medical Center.
The Food and Drug Administration is looking into a spike in reported problems. Earlier this year, the FDA began surveying surgeons using the da Vinci system. The agency conducts such surveys of device use routinely, but FDA spokeswoman Synim Rivers said the reason for it now "is the increase in number of reports received" about the da Vinci.
Reports filed since early last year include at least five deaths......read more
Robot Assisted Surgery; Pros and Cons
April 9, 2013
Q: What exactly is robotic surgery?
A: A multi-armed robot called da Vinci is used for many operations done with small incisions and tiny instruments. Prostate removal is one of the most common. Da Vinci also is used for removing the uterus, gallbladder, certain complex cancer surgeries and weight-loss operations.
Q: How does the robot do surgery?
A: A surgeon sits at a computer console in the operating room, directing the long robot arms with hand controls. The arms are tipped with tiny surgical instruments and one has a video camera that lets the surgeon view the operation on the computer screen.
Q: What are the pros and cons of using the robot?
A: Robot hands don’t shake and they can twist and rotate in more directions than human hands. However, robotic operations often cost much more than more conventional surgery. They also sometimes take longer. But patients often spend less time in the hospital.
Q: Does the robot ever break or cause problems?
A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking into a growing number of reports of malfunctions and complications, including problems that resulted in deaths and injuries. There’s no proof the robot was directly involved. The robot’s maker says what appears to be an increase in problems really just reflects a change in the way the company reports them.
Scientists tout advanced process to find surgical robot bugs before the bot cuts off something important
April 8, 2013
When it comes to having robotic surgeons slicing around inside your brain, heart or other important body organ, surgeons and patients need to know that a software or hardware glitch isn't going to ruin their day.
That's why a new technique developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory that promises to reliably detect software bugs and verify the software safety surgical robots could be a significant development.
According to the researchers, surgical robots are an example of what they call a hybrid, or cyber-physical system - complex, computer-controlled devices that are becoming increasingly common. Other examples are aircraft collision avoidance systems, high-speed train controls and cars that avoid collisions, maintain their lanes or otherwise drive themselves.
"Because the consequences of these systems malfunctioning are so great, finding a way to prove they are free of design errors has been one of the most important and pressing challenges in computer science," said André Platzer and assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon in a statement. Testing alone is inadequate because no test regimen can check all of the possible circumstances that the system might encounter, the researchers said.
What the researchers have developed is what they call a mathematical "tactics language for directing proof search, and implemented a new automated theorem prover called KeYmaeraD, an open source verification tool written in Scala.....read more
Now is the Time to Push for a Robot-Assisted Surgery Revolution
April 4, 2013
As recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Bloomberg News, there is a controversy brewing over robotic surgery and whether it is superior to alternative surgical approaches. Robotic training practices have also been questioned and it has been debated whether surgeons are receiving enough supervised cases before flying solo.
What is surprising is that few people are picking up on a larger issue that most supervised training still takes place on patients. This is not unique to robotics, but is the standard for surgery overall. However, with the technological advances that come with robotics we certainly might expect training alternatives that would minimize our reliance on animals and patients for surgical education. After all, military and commercial pilots undergo hundreds of simulation training hours before they fly actual planes. Shouldn’t our robot-assisted surgeons take advantage of similar technologies?
In full disclosure, I founded Mimic Technologies, a surgery simulation company, to address this very problem back in 2001. So it should be noted that I have a vested interest in the adoption of surgery simulation. I have been building medical simulators since 1990, when I began my journey towards a PhD, and I have been focused on robotic surgery simulation since 2003. I freely profess that I am a very strong proponent of robotic surgery and its benefits when coupled with simulation. My hope is that my background allows me to offer a unique perspective.....read more
This article was posted by Jeff Berkley, PhD, the founder and CEO of Seattle-based Mimic Technologies, which provides worldwide training and software for the da Vinci robot.
Robotic Surgery System Developed for Bladder Cancer
April 3, 2013
A team of American doctors and engineers has developed the first robotic surgery system to target bladder cancer, the sixth most common form of the disease and the most costly to treat.
The team, from Vanderbilt and Columbia Universities, said the advance is the biggest step forward in bladder cancer treatment in more than 70 years.
The system is designed to make it easier for surgeons to get a much better view of bladder tumors and remove them, regardless of their location, offering significant improvements to the current operation called a "transurethral resection."
Nabil Simaan, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt who headed the team, said the group was inspired to develop the new system, using micro-robotics, after witnessing existing surgical procedures, which he found to be invasive and rudimentary.
The traditional method involves inserting a rigid tube called a resectoscope through the urethra and into the bladder to view tissues, take biopsies, and remove tumors. But surgeons must press and twist the scope or push on the patient's body to bring some areas into view or remove tumors from less accessible regions.
But the new telerobotic system is designed specifically to operate in this challenging environment. The machine itself is the size and shape of a large thermos bottle but its business end is only about one fifth of an inch and consists of a segmented robotic arm. The tiny arm can swivel 180 degrees, allowing it to point in every direction, and its tip contains a white light, an optical fiber laser for cauterization, a fiberscope for observation, and a tiny forceps for gripping tissue.
The researchers detailed the system’s development in the journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.....read more
New robotic surgery technique helps pregnant moms
April 2, 2013
Pregnant women with weak cervices are at risk for miscarriage or premature birth. To tighten the cervix, surgeons perform a procedure known as abdominal cerclage, in which the cervix is sewn closed. Though effective, the procedure is dangerous. If the surgeon is slightly off target, he may puncture the amniotic sac or a major blood vessel in the mother.
Surgeons use ultrasound to guide the surgery, but Dr. Sami Kilic, chief of minimally invasive gynecology and research at UTMB, said it was challenging to have to turn his head to look at the ultrasound video then return to the console viewer.
"You were lagging a few seconds, between actual time and real time," he told DOTmed News.
Kilic's new technique uses an add-on to the daVinci robotic surgery system that allows surgeons to view multiple screens, such as the surgery and an ultrasound feed, simultaneously.
Robotic cervical cerclage surgeries are not currently common, but Kilic predicts that they will likely increase as more women give birth in their later 30s and early 40s, when complications are more likely.....read more
Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Lawsuit in Washington Wins the Right to Proceed, Reports Wright & Schulte
April 1, 2013
A Da Vinci robotic surgery complications lawsuit filed in Washington was recently granted the right to proceed despite efforts by Intuitive Surgical to have the claim dismissed. The allegations in this case, which are similar to those in a number of other recently filed da Vinci robotic surgery lawsuits, charged that Intuitive Surgical failed to sufficiently train physicians on how to use these devices.
Wright & Schulte has learned that Intuitive Surgical has just lost its bid to get a Da Vinci robotic surgery complications lawsuit filed in Washington State dismissed. Attorneys for Intuitive Surgical tried to claim in court that the company had no obligation to train doctors on how to use the Da Vinci robot per Washington’s state law and federal regulations, but the judge presiding over this case rejected Intuitive Surgical’s petition and stated that the company is, in fact, required to properly train doctors on how to use Da Vinci robots. The judge also stated that the plaintiff, specifically the family of the man who died allegedly due to Da Vinci robotic surgery complications, would be allowed to try to seek damages for the “harm allegedly caused by the improper marketing of the Da Vinci surgical system.”
According to court documents for this case (Estate of Fred E. Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical, 09-2-03136-5, Superior Court, State of Washington, Kitsap County), the plaintiff alleges that one of its family members had undergone prostate removal via Da Vinci robotic surgery in 2008. The operating physician, who had only performed two pervious Da Vinci robotic surgeries under the supervision of more experienced practitioners, was performing the prostate removal with the Da Vinci robot for the first time without supervision. The complaint goes on to allege that the operating physician made a number of mistakes during the unsupervised Da Vinci robotic surgery, causing the patient to sustain severe injuries, including a 1-inch tear to his rectum, kidney failure, permanent incontinence and brain damage. The patient ultimately died from these Da Vinci robotic surgery injuries.......read more
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