Surgical robots are incredible machines that allow for less invasive surgeries and faster recoveries. Yet, thousands of people are still injured every year, and many more live with the consequences of mechanical errors from early units. But that raises the question, what are the most common injuries caused by surgical robots?
In the Past
Surgical robots have been in use for about two decades. While the technology has come a long way in that time, early units were prone to two common errors, and for that reason, the Da Vinci Surgical System was recalled 175 times between 2004-2017.
The first error was that a piece of the machine would break or burn off inside the patient’s body. In most cases, this caused the surgical team to stop, remove the foreign objects, and continue. However, it resulted in nearly 200 injuries and one death between 2000-2013.
The other issue in early models was the device arcing, sparking, or burning the patient while the tools were inside them. This caused an additional 200 injuries due to machine design flaws.
The good news is that the Da Vinci Surgical System has been drastically improved over the years and is now safer than ever. These days, the overwhelming majority of surgical robot injuries are due to surgeon error. Remember, these machines are remote-controlled and have no autonomy of their own.
As we discussed previously, the majority of modern injuries occur during gynecological surgeries. Injuries are typically perforation of the ureter or intestines, both of which can be difficult to identify because of their size and may require a second surgery to repair.
However, injuries are rare, with only 2,000 recorded cases per year between America’s 900,000 robotic surgeries. It’s not necessarily that these gynecological procedures are more dangerous, but that they are the most common and, for that reason, have a high number of injuries but a relatively low injury rate per surgery.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries due to a robotic surgery, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Miami medical malpractice attorney from Rossman, Baumberger, Reboso & Spier, P.A., don’t hesitate to give us a call at (305) 900-5493 or send us an email.