Hysterectomy Robot Surgery Injury

The Da Vinci surgical robot is being used in hysterectomies as a minimally invasive alternative to an abdominal incision hysterectomy. Using this method produces less trauma to the belly and also allows for a faster recovery time than a traditional hysterectomy. Unfortunately, serious complications arise from the overuse of robotic surgery for benign cases, including the tearing of tissue, bleeding, scarring, and bladder injuries. The risk of these complications is increasing due to the rising frequency of robotic surgery.

Complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Bladder injuries requiring additional surgery
  • Scarring
  • Significant pain in intercourse
  • Chronic debilitating pelvic pain
  • Vaginal injuries
  • Lifelong dysfunction and devastation

But why are these complications arising? Using the Da Vinci Surgical Robot is completely different from traditional surgery. Surgeons don’t get feedback of tactile sensation of torn tissue. They have to make judgment calls by only looking at the tissue with their eyes, which is not as accurate as actually feeling the patient with their own two hands. Because of this, more patients are suffering from damage to tissue and blood vessels.

In addition to the surgery being less hands-on, there are reported problems with the insulation in the robot arms. Instead of the recommended three uses, robot arms are used 10-15 times before they are swapped out- due to the cost of the arm. As more surgeries are performed,the arms degrade, causing a loss in energy that travels down the arm to the tip of the instrument the surgeon is using.

The fault of these complications lies across the board – from Intuitive Surgical (the five billion dollar company that created the Da Vinci Surgical Robot) to the hospitals themselves. Intuitive Surgical pressures hospitals into using their technology by telling them they are not technologically sophisticated if they do not use the robot.They also state that the hospitals and physicians will lose market share if they do not implement them. Not only did they pressure hospitals, but through their direct marketing strategy targeting patients, they have enlisted the internet to help push these false and unverified facts to the public.

Intuitive Surgical has also been canceling studies across the country. Why? Because they were yielding unfavorable results and consistently proving there was a high level of risk related to robotic surgery.

The hospitals are also held responsible for the complications associated with robotic surgery. The cost of training and the machine itself are astronomical (2.6 million dollars) and hospitals simply do not want to pay for it. So training and certification nationally is done far too quickly to cut costs. Hospitals want to get surgeons trained as quickly as possible to offset the costs of the machine and training.

The results are real. After going under the robotic knife, women have reported they have experienced bladder and bowel injuries leading to more surgeries, leaking of urine from the vagina, significant pain during intercourse, chronic debilitating pain and in some cases, death.

A Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus from a woman’s body. It is the most common gynelogical surgical procedure with over 600,000 performed each year. With 90% of hysterectomies performed being benign. There are different causes for this procedure such as the growth of fibroids that cause pain or bleeding, cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries, abnormal vaginal bleeding or chronic pelvic pain. In some cases the entire uterus will be removed and in others, it will only be partially removed. There are heavy risks and benefits with having a major surgical procedure like a hysterectomy that affects both hormonal balances and the overall health of the patient.

If you or a family member have had a robotic procedure and suffered a bowel, bladder, urethral or vascular injury and had to have additional repair surgery or had a family member die, please contact me at 866 853-3659 for a free case evaluation.