An increasing number of hospitals have begun to offer robotic surgery or robot-assisted surgeries across the United States, as the advantages of using robotic devices in surgeries have become apparent. While there are a number of advantages to using robotic surgeons -lesser bleeding, quicker recovery time period-the fact is also there have been far too many incidents involving injuries caused by robots during surgery.
A new study that was presented recently at a gynecological conference finds many of these errors are caused due to operator error or system malfunctioning, and may not have much to do with the technology itself. The data came from an analysis of robotic surgery-related injuries that occurred between 2006 and 2012. The researchers found during this period of time, the number of reports increased from nil to 103. The most common gynecological procedure that was involved in robotic surgery-related errors was simple hysterectomy, and out of these errors, 26% resulted in injury. Approximately 8.45% of the reports involved death of the patient.
The safety of robotic surgeries has come under the spotlight after dozens of incidents were reported from around the country. In all of these incidents, patients suffered injuries, minor harm or, in very rare cases, actually died from injuries they suffered on the surgical table.
There is no doubt robotic surgeries are here to stay and the use of robotic devices to help with procedures is a trend that is not likely to go away any time soon. Experts agree robotic devices are extremely useful in surgeries and have a number of benefits. However, manufacturers do not seem to have completely evaluated the risks and complications attached to these devices before introducing these devices on the market.