The da Vinci surgical robot, developed by Intuitive Surgical, can now be found in a quarter of all hospitals in the country. So far it has been used to perform around 400,000 procedures. According to new report the FDA is now investigating this popular surgical robot as reports of incidents have increased over the past year, in which 500 incidents were reported, including several deaths. As of now there are no official results of this investigation.
The da Vinci robot is used in procedures such as repairing heart valves, removing prostates, wombs and gallbladders, organ transplants etc. A surgeon controls the robot by sitting in front of a screen instead of standing over a patient, making the procedure less tiring. Another advantage of the robot is that its hands don’t shake, though surgeons are hardly ever clumsy, still there’s a difference between man and machine. The same machine has caused problems, such as the incident when the robot’s arm wouldn’t release a tissue it grasped during the procedure. Such incidents could potentially be life threatening. This robot is the only robotic system that the FDA has approved for soft tissue surgery.