Robotic Surgery Is Good But Can Be Very Dangerous


All surgeries carry with them the risks, including robotic surgeries.  There have been many complications and even some deaths attributed to robotic surgery.  Robotic medical device failure may be the cause of surgical errors in some cases; there are other instances where the surgeon is the one responsible for the unexpected complications.

While operating on a patient, the surgeon does not have any direct contact with the patient.  This is because the entire surgery is conducted over a video interface with the use of a joystick.  Surgeons are unable to feel a response given by a patient’s body or easily determine if there a tear has opened in the tissue or if a burn has resulted because of contact with the robotic arm.  If an injury results because of the robotic arm, there can be serious complications that can include infection and death.

If the physician operating the robotic device improperly operates or is careless, they may end up severing vital organs, including blood vessels, ureters, and intestines.  This may be because doctors may not be adequately trained by the company to operate this complicated equipment.  Lawsuits involving surgical robotic devices might allege:

  • Burns
  • Careless and negligent use
  • Death
  • Incorrect and catastrophic removal of limbs and organs
  • Organ puncture
  • Tears of intestines, blood vessels, or ureters
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Vaginal cuff dehiscence

If the failure of the robotic equipment is the cause of the injury, this is considered medical product liability.  The robot may fail due to flaws.  The doctor may not have been adequately trained to use the machine.  Product liability lawsuits may allege:

  • Breach of warranties
  • Design flaws, including arcing and insulation defects
  • Inadequate training or prematurely certifying a surgeon to use the device
  • Failure to appropriately test the patient and post-marketing surveillance
  • Misrepresentation and over promotion
  • Violation of consumer protection laws

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