In the case of robotic surgery, technology may do more harm

When faced with the prospect of having to undergo a surgical procedure, most individuals listen to their doctor’s advice. If a doctor advises a patient to opt for a procedure utilizing the most advanced technology, most would likely trust their doctor’s opinion. This type of over selling seems to increasing be a problem when it comes to robotic surgery and has resulted in many patients suffering unnecessary harm, injury and even death.

While it may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, today, robots are readily used to carry out a variety of surgical procedures. In fact, since 2010, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of surgical procedures in which robots are utilized in the U.S.

Hospitals who make the $1.5 million dollar investment in a robot.must often justify their investment by readily advising patients to opt for robot-assisted surgeries. These types of surgeries are often touted by doctors and hospitals as being less invasive, more precise and overall better than those surgeries performed manually by a surgeon.

Robotic surgeries still require the assistance of a trained and highly skilled surgeon. However, rather than standing over a patient and manually performing a procedure, surgeons control the robot by sitting at what looks like a video game console. By manipulating numerous levers and foot controls, doctors are able to control the robot and perform the necessary procedure.

While often heralded by doctors and hospitals as the latest and greatest medical invention, the surgical robots have also been linked to numerous medical mistakes and medical malpracticelawsuits. Illinois and Joliet area residents who have been adversely impacted by a medical error which resulted from a robot-assisted surgery would be wise to seek legal advice. In many cases, surgical errors cause individuals to suffer permanent and debilitating injuries that impact an individual’s health and quality of life.

Source: Claims Journal, “Robot Surgery Damaging Patients Rises With Misleading Marketing,” Robert Langreth, Oct. 8, 2013

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