Problems from da Vinci Surgery Robot Often Could Have Been Prevented

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted May 1, 2012


UPDATE 5/14/2015: Saiontz & Kirk is no longer accepting new clients for da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuits
The contents of this page are provided for informational purposes only

In many cases, problems following da Vinci robotic surgery would have been avoided if an alternative surgical method had been used. However, as a result of Intuitive Surgical’s aggressive promotion of their da Vinci surgery robot without providing adequate training or warnings about the risk of complications, it appears that individuals throughout the United States may have suffered severe and devastating injuries that could have been prevented.

▸ da Vinci Surgery Robot Injury Lawsuits

The da Vinci surgery robot is a complex, remote controlled device that is aggressively promoted as a superior alternative to traditional surgical procedures. Despite no real evidence to establish that it is any safer, more effective or in any way superior to other surgical or laparoscopic methods, the expensive machine has been sold to hospitals throughout the country, who are then in a position where they have to push use of the surgical robot to account for the costs.

Da Vinci Surgery Lawyers

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. recently reported record profits for the first quarter of 2012, which were largely from sales generated by a marketing campaign that made hospitals believe they would be at a competitive disadvantage if they did not own the surgical robot.

The da Vinci robot costs between $1 million and $2.25 million for a hospital, plus they must pay annual maintenance costs of about $140,000 and each surgery carries a cost of about $2,000 in replacement parts.

Some estimates suggest that a hospital must perform more than 520 da Vinci surgeries a year to bring costs in line with traditional procedures.

By 2010, more than 850 hospitals in the U.S. had purchased the da Vinci surgery robot, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. To make matters worse, it appears to have been heavily targeted toward smaller hospitals, as at least 15% of the hospitals owning the da Vinci system at that time had 200 or fewer beds.

This further increases the risk of problems from da Vinci surgery, because smaller hospitals may not have enough procedures to allow doctors to become proficient with the system.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the manufacturer of the da Vinci system, has engaged in a multi-faceted marketing campaign, which has not only promoted the device to hospitals, but also encouraged patients to seek out physicians who use the device, recklessly creating demand without establishing that the product is safer or any more effective than alternative surgical methods. This also created a situation where many hospitals and doctors felt almost compelled to push use of the device.

Mounting evidence is now emerging that a number of individuals are experiencing devastating and life-altering injuries as a result of problems with the da Vinci robot, including burns, tears, dehincenses, hematomas, infection, fistulas and other injuries.

Many of these complications could have been avoided if traditional methods had been used. These injuries may have been prevented if Intuitive Surgical had not acted with reckless disregard for consumer safety.

According to allegations raised in da Vinci surgery lawsuits now being pursued by individuals throughout the United States, Intuitive Surgical:

  • Failed to conduct or sponsor sufficient testing to determine whether in random tests the da Vinci surgery robot was safer, more effective or in any way superior to other surgical methods.
  • Failed to ensure adequate training for physicians on the proper use of the device, while marketing and pricing the surgery robot in a way that induced surgeons to use the da Vinci system in situations that may increase the risk of problems.
  • Failed to adequately warn physicians and patients about the true extent of the risks and problems associated with da Vinci robotic surgery.
  • Failed to adequately monitor and disclose post-marketing reports of complications and da Vinci problems that have occurred in actual practice at hospitals throughout the United States.


The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential injury lawsuits for individuals throughout the United States who have experienced substantial health problems following da Vinci surgery, which may have been avoided if the surgical robot had not been used.

UPDATE 5/14/2015: Saiontz & Kirk is no longer accepting new clients for da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuits
The contents of this page are provided for informational purposes only

8 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Roberta says:

    Share information you wish to be published on this page…I had this method done and it took me over 6 months before I even felt partly human again and the pain I live with today just is not worth this procedure. I HIGHLY recommend anyone considering this take a second look at the old fashioned method which is a more invasive but proven method with less side affects. I had a hematoma and was told it was nothing to worry about. I later investigated and the hematoma and it’s a BLOOD CLOT and mine was not any tiny not worth mentioning sized clot it was the size of a tennis ball that’s something worth being concerned over especially if it blew…but no body seems concerned enough to recheck to ensure it’s completely gone so for all I know I’m a walking time bomb waiting for it to blow and kill me.

    Posted on June 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

  • Kim says:

    my hands have been swollen, hurting and now fall asleep since I had a de vanci hysterectomy. The doctors will not admit that it is a complication of surgery even though when i woke up from surger, i noticed my hands swollen badly. They do not go up or down in size and they hurt constantly. They are about to do carpere tunnel surgery on my right hand, but i am skepticl it will help seeing the onset of the swelling in me was hysterectomy. I had the procedure on Mar 19. In addition to both hands being hurting and numb, both feet have been on fire since the procedure.

    Posted on July 17, 2012 at 7:42 am

  • Janet says:

    @Roberta….after my husband had his colon surgery he had a hematoma the size of a cantaloupe …after the original surgeon and one from another hospital refused to do anything we did find an ER doctor that talked to a surgeon. He had another major surgery & wore 2 drains for 2 weeks. He just got out of the hospital again today (his 4th post surgery stay!) They said it would’ve taken months for it to go away if it didn’t become infected first. When they say hematoma…yes it is a blood clot but it walls up in the tissue of the body. I’m sure yours is probably gone but you’re so right…the pain is unbearable! I wish you well!!!

    Posted on May 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

  • Roger says:

    Hi, I just had a tumor removed from my right kidney about 4 months ago. It was discovered a short time after I had emergency golbladder surgery. When the surgeon first talked to me he explained to me it was 70% chance it would be cancer. So my choices were get the surgery, remove it. Wait 6 months see how big it might get. I thought remove it would be the best So I had the surgery (Da VINCI) and it has been pretty good most of the time after the surgery except I get these sharp pains on that side that would about drive me through a cement wall. I still have a lot of scars, and my belly button is real sore. Oh well…Any body else got these problems?

    Posted on August 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

  • Kim says:

    I as well was injured with Surgical device Robotic procedure. In April 2011 I had a surgery In Battle Creek Bronson with the Da Vinnci brought in new 2011, reps for the Da viinci claim there safe and less time to recover. Quite the opposite, I had 2 readmits a total of 21 days. For partial bowel obstruction pelvic absess and infection, t believe Bronson-Battle Creek and my doctr. if you were a victim with you hospital or unknowledgable lack of training with robotic da vinnci get back to me

    Posted on October 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

  • Barbara says:

    In jan. 2010 I had prolapse of bladder, urethra, vagina and bowels. It was done the Da Vinci Robot. Since then I have had 5 surgeries due to pain. When I was repaired with the Robot the used multiple mesh slings. I am now mesh free and still in unbearable pain. I\’m thinking the Da Vinci did nerve damage. Is this one of the problems it has caused?

    Posted on November 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

  • Jackie says:

    I had a hysterectomy through davnci robotic surgery June of 2012. I have extreme pain on my right side traveling down to my pelvic area. I have seen several doctors and they would do anything, no blood work, urinalysis or x-rays. I am
    having a CT scan Friday and hoping to see what is going on. My surgeon says no complications. My surgery took
    6 hrs and they had to re-dock the robut because the trocars were not long enough to complete surgery so they kept
    popping out. I want answers but fear no one wants to touch me because of the robot complications.

    Posted on January 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm

  • Glanda says:

    My husband had this surgery for prostate cancer, in 2005 in florida. It was awful. he was slow to heal and in a great deal of pain for weeks plus the surgery destroyed his nerves and bladder. he was impotent and incontinent for the 7 years he lived after the surgery. while I was grateful to have had the extra time with him, but he was so unhappy because we had only been married 2 years.. The one thing we had both asked specifically about was, if another procedure would have been safer and less apt to cause the very problems he had. the surgeon was adamant that nothing else would work as well. he lied.

    Posted on March 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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