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New Study Highlights Pneumonia Risk in Hysterectomy with da Vinci Surgical Robot

Sep 10, 2013

A new study reveals that a hysterectomy performed using the da Vinci surgical robot is no more effective than a traditional procedure and it actually raises a patient’s risk of developing pneumonia. reports this week that the study appears in the most recent edition of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Overall, the study found that a hysterectomy performed with the da Vinci surgical robot was nearly $2,500 more expensive than a traditional surgery and it gave no added clinical benefits. The study’s results also show that a woman faces a greater risk of developing pneumonia when the da Vinci is used. The risk is double the risk following a traditional hysterectomy procedure, Bloomberg reports.

Researchers believe that the higher risk of pneumonia may be associated with the longer intubation periods for patients who’ve undergone a da Vinci hysterectomy. In the surgical robot procedure, a patient is situated differently than in a traditional surgery, and fluids are more likely to rush to their heads, resulting in the need for intubation and doubling the risk of a pneumonia infection, Bloomberg notes in its report on the study.

This is just the latest study to examine the risks associated with surgeries using the da Vinci surgical robot. Our earlier reports on the risks of hysterectomy surgeries using the da Vinci surgical robot reveal that leading organizations have come out against the use of the device in this procedure.

Earlier this year, the head of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement in which he said that there are other and better options available. Dr. James T. Breeden said that a surgeon’s lack of expertise at using the da Vinci surgical robot and the lack of data showing the clinical benefits to using the robot over a traditional procedure should dissuade women from the da Vinci.

Our previous reports also indicate that there may be as many as 70 deaths linked to the use of the da Vinci surgical robot when counting all procedures, as well as hundreds of other adverse events that have been reported to a federal database.

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