Prostate cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among American men. Depending on a patient’s specific condition and how far the cancer has progressed, the course of treatment of may involve the removal of the prostate, a procedure known as a prostatectomy. Over the past decade, robotic prostatectomies have become the primary way in which the procedure is performed. While many surgeons and hospitals advertise robotic prostatectomy as being safer and less invasive than traditional surgery, a recent study indicates that complication rates are similar for both methods. When robotic surgery causes injury, victims may be able to recover from the robot manufacturer or surgeon who was operating the robot. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to discuss your case with an experienced robotic surgery attorney as soon as possible after an injury occurs.
How Does a Robotic Prostatectomy Work?
Removing the prostate involves making small abdominal incisions. In a robotic prostatectomy, a surgeon sits at a control console near the patient and uses manual controls to direct the movements of the robot. In addition, the surgeon is able to see a magnified view of the prostate site via a small video camera inserted through one of the incisions. Advocates of the procedure claim that the robot can make smaller and more precise incisions than could a surgeon’s hand, minimizing blood loss and promoting faster healing times.
What Complications are Associated with Robotic Prostatectomy?
While often touted as a safer alternative than traditional surgery, robotic prostatectomies have been known to cause serious complications. Because the prostate is in close proximity to several blood vessels, a robot can nick one of these blood vessels and cause excessive blood loss. In addition, there may be complications associated with blood transfusions that are necessary after such excessive blood loss. Two of the most serious complications that men who undergo a robotic prostatectomy experience are erectile dysfunction and incontinence. While these are expected complications of a prostatectomy, sometimes they are caused by nerve or muscle damage due to an error by the surgeon or the robotic equipment. Some other complications that may arise after a robotic prostatectomy include:
- Burn injuries;
- Tissue damage;
- Intestinal damage; and
- Urinary tract damage.
Contact a Robotic Prostatectomy Lawsuit Attorney Today
Injury from robotic prostatectomies or other robotic medical procedures may entitle patients to significant compensation. Contact Lopez McHugh today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced product liability attorneys.