Remote robot assisted surgery has been around for decades but it is only recently that a lawsuit has been filed regarding injuries and complications as a result of robot assisted surgical procedures.
In a landmark decision that has been handed down last week in a Port Orchard, WA court, “Da Vinci” and the company that developed it has successfully defended a lawsuit that claims it did not properly train the surgeon that operated on Fred Taylor, a patient who underwent a prostatectomy or a removal of the prostate gland in 2008.
The Da Vinci Surgical system is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, a company based in Sunnyvale, CA. “Da Vinci” is named after the renaissance man who is credited as having designed the first robot. Da vinci is used in such operations as gynecologic surgical procedures as gynecological surgery, cardiac valve repair, prostate operations, and other surgical operations such as laparoscopy. Da Vinci has performed at least 200,000 surgeries in 2012.
Intuitive Surgical’s stock jumped by more than 5% when news of the decision was released. It is evident that the lawsuit has had an effect on the company’s stockholder base. A Da Vinci surgical unit costs as much as $2 million, and not many medical institutions can afford to have this kind of technology. Da Vinci has the potential of alleviating the lack of qualified surgeons in remote locations around the world, thus saving the lives of thousands of patients. prohibitive costs does not make it possible at the present unless an alternative system is developed and the drawbacks associated with Da Vinci such as a question on the qualification of doctors and the proprietary nature of its software not allowing for any user modification that may otherwise improve how surgical operations are done.