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Robotic Hysterectomy Not Superior to Traditional Methods

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The use of robotically assisted hysterectomy has become more frequent since the FDA approved the use of the robotic surgical platform for gynecologic procedures. Although robotic surgery is more costly, a recent study has shown that the outcomes for robotic surgery are not superior to open abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic surgery for benign disease. The study looked at 275,000 cases  at 441 hospitals between 2007 to 2010 and compared the rate of intra-operative complications, surgical site complications, medical complications, transfusion requirements, reoperation rates and mortality. Robotically assisted surgery did not significantly improve outcomes or reduce complications. The frequency of abdominal and vaginal approaches for hysterectomy declined from 54% to 41% of cases and from 22% to 20% respectively. The frequency for laparoscopic hysterectomy rose from 24% to 30%. But the frequency for robotic surgery skyrocketed from 0.5% to 30% of procedures during the study.

While the study did not look at every possible factor that might influence the choice of operative procedure, the study results are consistent with other studies showing that robotic surgery costs more by does not produce benefits over the other methods. The surgical costs for robotic surgery are approximately $8,900 compared to $6,700. Robotic surgery only demonstrates an advantage over minimally invasive techniques in complicated cases. For most patients, the extra cost is simply not cost effective. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has concluded that patients should be advised that robotic surgery is best used for unusual and complex cases in which improved outcomes have been demonstrated.

Britcher Leone & Roth understand the difficulties that women who sustain injury during hysterectomy go through. Injury to the bladder, the ureters, to the iliac arteries or veins and even the aorta can occur during the surgery. Postoperative infections at the surgical site can be difficult injuries to heal. While not every injury that occurs from a hysterectomy is negligent, only a careful review of the medical facts by our firm can determine if surgical malpractice occurred.

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