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There has been some problem with surgical complications with the da Vinci robot and litigation has followed. Any surgery can go wrong so not sure if the da Vinci is more or less likely to end up hurting a patient from procedural errors. The following does not fully address that but does bring up a point that reporting is not reflecting the true incidence and there may be more trouble ahead for these guys. They are close to a 52-week and a long way from the $585 high at $385 now

This is from Medscape. Not sure if the link works without registering but I included the salient snips

More injuries and deaths are linked to da Vinci robotic surgery than meet the eye, according to a new study published online August 27 in the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

As a result, "we're not learning from our performance," study coauthor Martin Makary, MD, MPH, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Makary said the 8 cases uncovered by his study, including the 5 never submitted to the FDA, make up a "sampling" of a large but unknown number of unreported or misreported AEs associated with da Vinci surgery.

"We think that based on the sample, the 245 reported cases represent a small fraction of the true events out there," said Dr. Makary, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. The number of reported cases, he added, "seems very low, given the discussion of these events in the surgical community.

A study published in February in JAMA reports that robot-assisted hysterectomy posted complication rates similar to those for laparoscopic hysterectomy but cost almost $2200 more per operation. The next month, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists declared that robotic surgery "is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy," nor is it "the most cost-efficient."

Dr. Makary and colleagues point to several possible reasons for underreporting da Vinci complications. One reason is that injuries sometimes appear to result from user error, when in fact they reflect an issue with the device.

"Many surgeons believe it's easier to make errors with robotic surgery given the lack of haptic feedback," Dr. Makary told Medscape Medical News. Unable to feel how firm a blood vessel is, a surgeon may accidentally sever it, for example.
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