Robotic surgery procedures have increased dramatically since they were first approved by the FDA in 2000, and so have the percentage of patients who have been injured by them. There are 2000 da Vinci systems installed in the US medical facilities today and 367,000 robotic procedures were done in 2012, mostly for gynecologic and urologic procedures with hysterectomies and prostatectomies accounting for the vast majority of cases. But while the percentage increase in the number of surgeries between 2011 and 2012 was 26%, the number of adverse events to patients increased by 34%, with a total of 282 robotic surgery injuries last year. Even more troubling is that a study in the Journal for Healthcare Quality reported that the number of reported injuries in 2012 only represent a small fraction of the actually injuries that occurred. The study found that a number of adverse events were not even reported.
When medical errors happen in New Jersey, there are a number of questions that must be studied to learn whether the errors constituted medical malpractice. In general, if a mistake is caused by a doctor or nurse deviating from the accepted standards of practice, that mistake is medical malpractice. However, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are not the only ones who can be held liable for medical errors. Hospitals and the manufacturers and sellers of medical devices sometimes also run afoul of accepted standards, resulting in harmful complications for patients.
Elective surgery deaths occur at a significantly higher rate when surgery is performed on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Worse outcomes for patients admitted on weekends compared with weekdays measured by death and length of stay are explained as the "Weekend Effect". A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirmed the higher risk of death and complications for surgeries done at the end of the week and on weekends. The risk of dying from surgery on Saturday or Sunday was almost double the risk (82% higher) when surgery was performed on Monday. The risk of dying from surgery on a Friday was 44% higher than on a Monday. The elective surgeries that were looked at were colon resection, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm, lobectomy or lung resection and a single combined group that included hip replacement, knee replacement, inguinal hernia repair, varicose vein stripping and ligation, tonsillectomy, femoral hernia repair and abdominal wall hernia repair.
Going under the knife is nothing to take lightly. Knowing your surgeon is fresh out of residency only adds to the stress. But one study, however, indicates that-despite public perception-there is no higher risk of serious complications or medical errors from surgery performed by a surgeon-in-training or resident than a seasoned physician.