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For the last several years, our blog has been carefully following the progress of robotic surgery here in the U.S., meaning those procedures in which scalpels and other surgical instruments are taken out of the hands of the surgeon and replaced with joysticks and a control panel connected to multiple robotic arms.
Advocates of robotic surgery have long argued that it results in everything from smaller incisions and shorter patient recovery times to a reduction in internal bleeding and an elimination of surgical errors attributable to physician fatigue. Opponents, however, have argued that the technology is perhaps not all it’s cracked up to be for patients given the possibility of mechanical failures, inexperience on the part of surgeons and its overall cost.
Indeed, a recently released study in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology determined that while robotic surgery is being used more frequently in procedures like oophorectomies (i.e., removal of the ovaries) and cystectomies (i.e. removal of ovarian cysts), the rate of complications associated with robotic surgery cases was actually higher than those for conventional surgery cases.
While reports like these are certainly alarming and raise some pressing safety concerns, it’s important to remember that it really doesn’t matter who — or what — is wielding the scalpel at the end of the day, as it’s the patient who inevitably suffers.
When a surgical error is made, the patient is at risk of everything from unnecessary pain and suffering and the loss of function to paralysis and even brain damage. In these unimaginable and unexpected scenarios, it’s vital to have a dedicated advocate by your side, someone who will work to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions and, more significantly, fight to make sure that justice is served.
Please visit our “Surgical errors” page to learn more about how our firm can help.