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Injuries from Robotic Prostate Surgery may be Avoided

Written by Berkowitz

According to new research, doctors alert to certain warning signs may be able to avoid uretral damage during robotic prostate cancer removal surgical procedures.

The study, published in the Journal of Endourology, indicates that preoperative evaluations and identification of high-risk patients may help surgeons avoid patient injuries during prostatectomies conducted with the aid of surgical robots such as the da Vinci surgical robot.

Researchers from the Henry Ford’s Vattikuti Urology Institute studied roughly 6,500 men who underwent robot-assisted prostatectomies under the supervision of five surgeons between January 2001 and June 2013. Multiple complications were noted, including three patients who sustained ureter injuries during robotic prostate surgery performed by two very highly trained surgeons. One of these three patients required admission to the hospital for additional surgery to the ureter.

The researchers relied upon data from a prostate cancer database and the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). They concluded that many injuries to the uretur could be avoided through extended surgical planning and preoperative identification of patients who have risk factors predisposing them to surgical complications, including prior abdominal surgery, a history of infection, radiation treatment, enlarged prostate glands and prior prostate surgery.

“This knowledge can help identify future patients who are at high risk of sustaining ureteral injury during robotic removal of a cancerous prostate gland. Measures can then be taken either before or during surgery to reduce the probability of such injury,” said head study author Jay Jhaveri, M.D., M.P.H.

A recent report published by Bloomberg News states heightened awareness of robotic surgery complications and problems may lead to better surgeon training and additional measures to ensure patient safety during robotic surgery.

Personal injury lawsuits have been filed by patients and families of patients who claim to have suffered serious injury or death due to complications of robotic surgery conducted with the da Vinci robotic surgical system by Intuitive Surgical. In da Vinci lawsuits, many plaintiffs and their lawyers claim that inadequate surgeon training, design defects and overuse of the system led to their suffering.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a complication of surgery with the da Vinci robotic surgery system, you could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and additional damages. To learn more about plaintiffs’ rights in da Vinci robot lawsuits, contact the personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC. Our attorneys represent injured patients and families in Connecticut.