Are Robotic Surgeries Safe?

While surgical robots have been used in surgical procedures for more than a decade now, the reliability and safety of such surgeries remains a question mark.
The equipment, called the da Vinci system, is made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, California. According to a report in the NY Times, “Between January 2000 and August 2012, thousands of mishaps were reported to the F.D.A. In the vast majority of cases, the patient was not harmed, but among the reports were 174 injuries and 71 deaths related to da Vinci surgery, according to a study published last week in The Journal for Healthcare Quality. Yet by combing news reports and court records, researchers at Johns Hopkins were able to find examples of botched operations that were not reported to the agency. They concluded that adverse events associated with the da Vinci were “vastly underreported.” Robotic injuries that have been reported include organ lacerations, perforations, and burns.