Kingston, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains Robotic Surgery

Computer-assisted surgery is becoming more and more prevalent as technology advances and the medical field embraces such change. A physician controls a remote control-like device which can manipulate robotic arms to carry out the necessary movements to perform the surgery. The major and obvious advantage is that the surgeon does not actually have to be present, and the device-which is linked to a computer-can be accessed across the country. In fact, it can be used across the world as one surgery for an Iraqi citizen done be a doctor conducting the remote surgery did!

Another advantage-whether or not the physician is in the same room-is that some procedures like rib spreading can be done in a much smoother, and controlled manner by a computer-controlled device as opposed to the physician's own hands. This also includes advantages such as computerized precision, miniaturization, smaller and cleaner incisions, decreased blood loss, less pain, and all which help quicken healing time.

But what are the disadvantages? Cost is one. Each robot system costs about $1.2 million with each procedure requiring the "refurbishment" of the machine at $1,500. And then there are the costs for paying the physician for their time. Which, it can take more than twice as long to complete a procedure when the physician is still learning how to use this system as opposed to a traditional procedure. It is estimated that it can take as many as twenty procedures before the physician is adapted and competent to use system. This, however, creates twenty possible plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case.

Which it can happen with a robot! In fact, a physician using the system accidently nicked the bowel of a patient remotely and it was not found nor treated. It resulted in the patient's death, and subsequently litigation which is still ongoing.

Yes, the medical robots are a great advancement and will only get better as the current generation of doctors trains and learns on these machines alongside traditional operations. However, there are still dangerous limitations and disadvantages to this advancement. I foresee an increasing amount of patient injuries due to remote, robotic surgery in the future as this becomes more prevalent. But for every lawsuit, I anticipate many more successful surgeries that will save the life of a patient in New York, performed by the foremost authority of, say, nanosurgery in California, on that patient's brain. Possibly even an emergency surgery that yesterday the patient would have died, but with today's technology they would survive.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.
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