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Is robotic surgery safe?

We live in a time when amazing medical breakthroughs come through almost on a daily basis. Many of these new medicines and technologies have proven to be lifesavers. However, some others can end up causing more harm than good. This goes for medical devices and procedures as well as new medications. Some Nashville residents who put their trust in their doctors end up suffering as a result.

You may have heard about robotic surgery. This groundbreaking surgical procedure involves a machine called the da Vinci system. The da Vinci surgical machine is said to be precise and accurate and to remove human error. However, like any highly complex computerized machine, the risk of bugs exists. There is also the chance of human programming mistakes or other preventable errors.

According to The New York Times, doctors and hospitals across the country have reported thousands of mistakes associated with the da Vinci system between 2000 and 2012. Out of these, 174 people were injured and 74 died after surgeries involving the equipment. Medical professionals believe that these events have been greatly underreported; in fact, Johns Hopkins researchers have found numerous examples of surgical mistakes involving the machine that went unreported.

Some doctors are hesitant to stand behind the da Vinci system. In an anonymous survey, more than 56 percent of surgeons who used the machinery said the system experienced irrecoverable malfunctions during operations. Some reports claim the company that makes the machines uses aggressive marketing tactics, and many medical centers are pressured to use the equipment despite inadequate training.

It goes without saying that anytime you face surgery, you should fully educate yourself on the options you are being presented with.

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