UPDATED 5-14-2013: Scroll to bottom of article to see updates.
One of robotics’ biggest stars, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and their da Vinci robotic surgical systems, is receiving a lot of unfavorable media attention – including a 4-part “exposé” by MSNBC – because:
- A month-long suit alleging injuries tied to the robot surgery used in a 2008 procedure to remove a patient’s prostrate claims that the surgeon was not adequately trained.
- A recent JAMA article showed that although the number of robotically assisted hysterectomy procedures is up, their effectiveness is the same as laparoscopic methods but their costs are about $2,000 higher per procedure.
- The FDA recently initiated a probe asking surgeons at numerous hospitals to identify complications with the da Vinci machines.
- Intuitive sends note to customers about a scissor instrument known as Hot Shears saying the instrument could develop small, invisible cracks, which can potentially cause a leak of electricity that can burn patients.