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August 19 2013

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Robotic Surgery Questioned in Hysterectomy

It has been suggested that pricey da Vinci robotic surgery for hysterectomy should not rank first in the priority list in women. In the recent years, more women have opted for a robot-assisted procedure, rather than surgery through a large abdominal incision or traditional laparoscopic surgery, in which a doctor manipulates surgical instruments through small incisions in the abdomen, says an online source. Da Vinci obot-assisted surgery is now coming into wider use for these conditions because it allows for excellent visualization of the blood vessels, ureters and surrounding tissue as well as improved ability to suture the vagina after removal of the uterus and cervix. It was discovered that using robotic surgery for hysterectomy may decrease the risk of blood loss.

Robot-assisted hysterectomy surgery is similar to the conventional laparascopic surgery. Robotic-assisted surgery is carried out by a surgeon sitting several feet from the operating table while operating on the hand and foot controls to control the surgical tools that are attached to the robot’s arms.

Robotic hysterectomy may normally cost a total of $8,868, while compared to traditional laparoscopic procedure costing $6,679 and $6,651 for the open surgery. It was also found that although patients who got robotic hysterectomy were less likely than laparoscopic patients to be hospitalized for more than two days, there was no significant difference between the two groups on other measures such as complications and blood transfusion rates.

Nonetheless, there are some troubles associated with the medical apparatus that served as an important early warning. While the number of complications reported may be small compared with the operations done, it has set off warning bells. The FDA sent letters to hospitals asking its surgeons about complications, training and the procedures the robots may be most and least suited for. According to lawsuits, complaints, interviews with alleged victims, and FDA database, many of the reported injuries during robotic surgery appear to be burns and other heat-related damage to intestines, ureter, bowels and other organs.

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