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Robotic surgery has advantages, but can pose unique risks

Robotic surgery sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie from the 1960s. However, it's actually been around for a while now. In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the da Vinci Surgical System.

While the da Vinci devices were originally used for prostate removal and hysterectomies, they now are employed in a wide range of surgical procedures, making them less invasive than traditional surgery. The device helps surgeons have greater control, flexibility and precision. When it is used properly, patients can experience less blood loss, scarring, pain and recovery time than they would have with more invasive methods.

Of course, a qualified surgeon still has to operate the device, which consists of surgical instruments attached to mechanical and camera arms. The surgeon operates the arms from a computer console that provides a 3-D, magnified, high-definition image of the area being operated on.

It's essential that the surgeon operating the da Vinci device be properly trained and experienced in using it. Looking at a surgical site via a computer monitor is not the same as viewing it as a surgeon would in a traditional procedure. Even if they have sufficient experience doing a particular type of surgery using the robotic device, there can be errors and complications. The device has been known to tear blood vessels and even organs. Patients have developed conditions like peritonitis and sepsis.

If something goes wrong during robotic surgery, patients and family members have just as much right to seek legal guidance and explore the possibility of a medical malpractice action as they would if the surgeon's own hands had been holding the instruments. At Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, we can work to investigate the circumstances that resulted in injury. We have over a half-century of malpractice experience and have handled complex cases, including those involving robotic surgery.

Whether you live in Kentucky, Ohio or West Virginia, if you believe that you or a loved one was harmed due to the actions of one or more medical professionals during this or any other type of surgery, call or contact us online. We will provide you with a free consultation to help you determine whether you have a case.

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