The da Vinci Surgical System and its related tools and accessories are marketed, designed, and manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. According to the company, the da Vinci robot is intended to provide patients with several benefits over traditional surgical methods such as reduced blood loss, quicker recovery times, smaller incisions and less pain with minimally-invasive methods.
However, despite its intended benefits, plaintiffs and da Vinci attorneys experienced in defective medical device cases are currently filing lawsuits against Intuitive Surgical, claiming that the robotic arms may be uncontrollable at times, resulting in the unintentional burning or cauterizing of otherwise healthy organs.
If you or a loved one have suffered from complications during a procedure performed by the da Vinci Surgical System, consider contacting the Johnson Firm to learn more about your legal options. You may be eligible to seek compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses, among other damages.
During a Da Vinci Procedure
In a da Vinci robot-assisted surgery, the physician places the robotic arms inside the patient’s body by way of small incisions. The surgeon is then able to manipulate the arms using joystick-like controls to perform the procedure. The technology behind the system converts the surgeon’s hand movements into accurate and responsive micro-movements of the robotic instruments.
Currently, the da Vinci Surgical System is used in 1,371 facilities in the U.S. and more than 2,000 hospitals worldwide. Intuitive Surgical estimated that over 450,000 procedures were performed with the device in 2012 alone. It is still the only unit approved in the U.S. for use in soft-tissue surgeries, prostate removals and gynecological procedures.
The device has also been used in gall bladder procedures as well as operations on the lung, prostate, thyroid, heart, colon and pancreas. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Kaiser Foundation and other organizations have expressed concern over the effectiveness of surgeries performed using the system.
Plaintiffs Allege Da Vinci Surgical System is Defective
More than 26 da Vinci robot lawsuits were pending in courts throughout the U.S. as of May 2013. The lawsuits, filed by da Vinci attorneys on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered from adverse side effects either during a surgery or following a procedure performed with the da Vinci Surgical System, allege that the device caused:
- Excessive bleeding
- Bowel injuries
- Cut ureters
Other allegations include claims that the da Vinci Surgical System has a high risk of inadvertently cutting, burning, or cauterizing the tissues in nearby areas as electric current has the potential to jump from the robotic arm to locations outside the operative area. Plaintiffs and da Vinci attorneys are also reporting injuries to the arteries, ureters, vaginal cuff, bowel, blood vessels and bladder.
Da Vinci attorneys experienced in cases involving the da Vinci Surgical System and other defective medical devices also claim that the manufacturer withheld valuable safety information in an effort to increase the company’s stock value and knowingly misled the public. According to accusations, the company’s inflated stock prices did not adequately reflect the manufacturer or the product as Intuitive was allegedly hiding pertinent safety information.
More than 500 adverse event reports have been reported since January 2012, according to the Associated Press, that pertain to injuries sustained either during or following a procedure with the da Vinci robot. Plaintiffs are also claiming that they were not fully aware of the side effects and risks of the procedure prior to giving their consent. Attorneys speculate that, due to the $2 million price tag of each system, hospitals may have hid the risks in an effort to recoup the money spent on the system. In other words, if patients had been more aware of the potential dangers, they may have opted for an alternative surgical method, and the hospital would have lost the money it had spent on the unit.
Injured by the Da Vinci Surgical System? A Da Vinci Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love suffered from excessive bleeding, burns or other complications due to the da Vinci Surgical System, you may be able to work with a da Vinci attorney to seek damages for your condition. The Johnson Firm provides free, no-obligation consultations to those who feel they have a claim. We can review your case and help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for your free evaluation and to take the first step on the road to recovery.