Study May Be Concern For da Vinci Robot
A new study from researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reports that the use of a surgical robot to perform a hysterectomy is no safer than laparoscopic surgery, and may actually increase the risk of certain complications, including pneumonia.
The study published in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found complications in approximately 9% of robotic hysterectomies. Additionally, the study indicates that using the da Vinci system to perform a hysterectomy provides no safety benefits to justify the increased cost. The UT Southwestern researchers analyzed data on more than 800,000 hysterectomies performed in the U.S. from 2009-2010. The study reported an approximate 8.8% overall rate of complications regardless of whether the procedure was robotic or laparoscopic. The researchers also reported that patients undergoing robotic hysterectomy were more likely to experience postoperative pneumonia, but slightly less likely to need a blood transfusion.
The UT Southwestern study is another report critical of the da Vinci system. When studies such as this are published manufacturers of products need to prepare for increased litigation. Utilizing internal or external experts and consultants to understand the strengths and weaknesses of such a study can help alleviate litigation risk and minimize costs when inevitable litigation ensues.