Is da Vinci Robotic Surgery a Revolution or a Rip-off?

  Even before laparoscopic surgery took off around 1990, several companies, backed by U.S. defense grants, were at work on robotic surgical systems. Laparoscopic surgery has proven to be a significant medical advance, turning major surgeries that left scars and kept patients in the hospital for several days, into fairly minor procedures. As robotic surgical systems moved through research and...Read More

Liability Insurer Accuses Surgical Robot Maker of Hiding Injury Claims

  It’s health insurers’ cardinal rule: disclose pre-existing conditions. Now comes a case in which that familiar decree involves not a patient, but rather a $1.5 million surgical robot known as the da Vinci system. Two insurance companies say da Vinci’s maker, Intuitive Surgical Inc., failed to reveal more than 700 injury claims when it applied for liability coverage. Intuitive...Read More

Cancer Patients Are Getting Robotic Surgery. There’s No Evidence It’s Better

  High-tech surgical robots aren’t an improvement over traditional operations, the F.D.A. warns. For some patients, the robots may be worse. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="609"] A da Vinci device in the operating theater. The da Vinci was the first robotic surgery system approved by the F.D.A.[/caption] Robotic surgery was never approved for mastectomy or any other cancer-related treatment, but that...Read More

Radical prostatectomy did not reduce all-cause or prostate-cancer mortality, as compared with observation

  The complete results of the Prostate Cancer Intervention versus Observation Trial (PIVOT) study have (finally) just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Unfortunately, only the abstract is available on line so it may take us a little while to get hold of a copy of the complete report. For those who may have forgotten (or simply...Read More

FDA Cautions Using Robotically-Assisted Surgical Devices

  Date Issued February 28, 2019 Audience People with breast cancer or those at high risk for breast cancer who are considering the surgical removal of one or both breasts (mastectomy) using robotically-assisted surgery People considering robotically-assisted surgery for the prevention or treatment of other cancers Health care providers who perform robotically-assisted procedures as part of cancer prevention or treatment...Read More