Consumer Alert! da Vinci® Surgical System Dangers

This is Michael Brady Lynch, lead trial attorney for The Michael Brady Lynch Firm.

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is now investigating claims against Intuitive Surgical® as recent reports have attributed a number of adverse events to the da Vinci® Surgical System.  Intuitive Surgical® warned customers last week that certain versions of its device may develop micro cracks that could release electrical energy and inadvertently burn tissue.  As a result of these micro cracks as well as other alleged concerns with the da Vinci® device, reported injuries have included surgical burns to arteries and organs, punctured organs, bowel injuries, excessive bleeding and even death.  The internal injuries can lead to a number of complications including sepsis.

The daVinci surgical robot was designed to allow surgeons to perform operations through small incisions with more clarity. The robot, first used in the US in 2000, has four remote-controlled arms and a 3-D camera, all designed to make urologic, laparoscopic, and gynecologic surgery less invasive. Less invasive surgery means less blood loss and quicker healing time.

Concerns have been raised, however, that doctors are not properly trained in using the robot, possibly resulting in harm to patients. Among injuries linked to robotic surgeries are burns, lacerated bladders and cut ureters. Some patients who suffered injury during a robotic surgery have required additional surgeries to repair the damage. Other patients have died following robotic surgery.

Meanwhile, a report by Citron Research questions whether the daVinci robot is medically necessary for gynecological or prostate sugeries. Despite the robot being used for more than 10 years, “there is still a severe vacuum of real scientific evidence that the daVinci is of any clinical benefit when the full arc of costs and outcomes are weighed,” the report states. The report also cites the death of two patients undergoing “routine” hysterectomies.

The report concludes that robotic hysterectomies do not yield better outcomes than conventional hysterectomies, but do have higher risks. Finally, the report warns investors that an increase in adverse events linked to the daVinci robot could increase legal liability for the company.

In an April 19th filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Intuitive Surgical acknowledged that it had been named in more than two dozen da Vinci lawsuits involving personal injury allegations. According to a notice entered in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana on March 14th, Intuitive has resolved at least one da Vinci lawsuit filed by a woman who was allegedly injured during a robot-assisted thyroid procedure.

Court documents show that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) had declined last year to consolidate all federally-filed da Vinci complication claims in a single federal court for pretrial proceedings. However, Intuitive Surgical filed a petition with the U .S. District Court, Northern District of California on February 19th seeking coordination of 11 state and federal da Vinci robot lawsuits before a single judge.

If you or a loved one underwent a surgical procedure that utilized the da Vinci® Surgical System, please contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm for a free, no-obligation, confidential case evaluation.

About the Firm: The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is a trial firm with a focus on pharmaceutical mass tort cases involving SSRI and Anti-Seizure Medication Birth Defects including Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Depakote and Topamax, Mirena IUD, Pradaxa internal bleeding, Actos bladder cancer, Fosamax Femur Fractures, and medical device cases including DePuy Hip and Trans-Vaginal Mesh cases. Contact us today if you or someone you know has experienced side effects involving these products.

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