Da Vinci Robot Lawsuit Funding

Staff Writer | December 2nd, 2013

da vinci robot lawsuit fundingComplications arising from da Vinci robot surgery are on the rise, and government health experts have released new recommendations for surgeons, and called for them to have more robot surgery training before being able to perform operations. The news has come on the back of a string of  recent lawsuits alleging the Da Vinci surgical system is seriously flawed and has caused permanent injuries and a few fatalities.

On November 8, the FDA updated the section of its website dedicated to computer-assisted robotic surgery. They indicated their awareness of an increasing number of adverse event reports concerning Intuitive Surgical’s Da Vinci surgical system, stating:

“The majority of the medical device reports the FDA received were of device malfunctions, such as component breakage, mechanical problems and image/display issues. However, the FDA has also received reports of injuries and deaths related to the device.”

This upsurge in Da Vinci complaints was first noted by Citron Research, an independent investment analysis firm who issues a report in October, warning investors about the impact of these incidents on Intuitive Surgical’s stock price. Citron found that, over the first eight months of 2013, more than 2,332 complaints were submitted to the FDA. In some cases, plaintiffs have had to seek Da Vinci robot lawsuit funding to cover their expenses while they awaited resolution of their claims.

The Da Vinci robot is used in a number of urologic, gynecologic and thoracoscopic surgical procedures. It has been aggressively promoted in direct-to-consumer ads, which have promoted the device as a superior alternative to traditional surgery because it is less invasive and results in a shorter recovery time. But the $1.5 million robot has increasingly been associated with injuries including burns and tears. Some surgeons have expressed concern that it is being over-used, and question the benefits it has over traditional surgery in many cases.

Other injuries cited in litigation include:

  • Cuts to the ureter
  • Punctured internal organs
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Surgical burns/punctures to arteries
  • Punctured blood vessels
  • Severe bowel injuries
  • Sepsis
  • Reopening of hysterectomy incisions

Surgeon survey finds inadequate training

The FDA sent a survey to surgeons asking for their perspectives on challenges raised by the use of the da Vinci system. The agency returned responses from 11 surgeons who had used the system. They all reported the need to perform multiple procedures before they were proficient at using the device. The FDA is calling for doctors and hospitals to make certain that proper training is completed and that all surgeons are appropriately credentialed. The agency has also advised potential patients to be aware that robotic surgery is not appropriate in every situation, and they should discuss the benefits and risks with their doctors before consenting to a procedure.

According to protocol, the minimum experience required of anyone operating the da Vinci robot is 200 operations. After this they are considered “technically proficient” to operate the machine without assistance or supervision.

In reality, some hospitals have allowed surgeons to perform robotic surgery without 200 operations of practice. According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Intuitive offers a two-day course for users of the da Vinci surgical robot. After this training period, it is left to the hospital to decide how and when surgeons may use the device. In some instances, doctors were allowed to use the robot without supervision after only four surgeries.

Marketed as a breakthrough in less invasive surgery, the da Vinci robot carries a sophisticated camera and four surgical arms. It is operated remotely to allow surgeons to work with more accuracy. Intuitive claims it reduces the size of each incision made compared with traditional surgery.

da Vinci robotic surgery legal loans

In March of this year, the lawsuit of a Louisiana woman who suffered serious injuries after thyroid surgery ended in a settlement. According to her case, she held Intuitive Surgical liable for failing to properly maintain the system, and for failing to properly train staff on use. Intuitive agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount.

Other plaintiffs allege that the marketing campaign for the system was unethical, and that the robot has a number of design flaws. Plaintiffs also accuse the firm of failing to provide adequate training for surgeons. Not all of them will be able to absorb the costs of a lengthy legal process while they await a settlement or jury verdict. In cases like this, da Vinci robot lawsuit funding may be the only option.

Anyone who has suffered injury after a da Vinci procedure may be entitled to financial damages in a court of law. Lawstreet Capital offers da Vinci robotic surgery legal loans to help you bridge the gap between filing a lawsuit and winning compensation. For more information, call our customer representatives toll free. Rest assured that we assume all risks, as the cash advance is only repaid if you win or settle your lawsuit. Call now to start your free application process.