Robot widely used for prostate cancer and heart bypass surgery is investigated over safety concerns

Hi-tech robot used for cancer and heart bypass surgery is investigated over safety concerns after 'hitting patient in the face'
The da Vinci robot is increasingly used by surgeons due to its accuracy
Also credited with fewer side-effects and a quicker recovery time But is now being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationComes after fears that deaths and freak incidents may be linked to its useThey include a robot hitting a patient and another grasping tissue tightly

. Many of these are said to have come from Intuitive Surgical.

There's also no proof any of the problems were caused by the robot, and many didn't injure patients.

Reports filed this year include a woman who died during a 2012 hysterectomy when the surgeon-controlled robot accidentally nicked a blood vessel, a Chicago man who died in 2007 after spleen surgery and a robotic arm that wouldn't let go of tissue grasped during colorectal surgery.

'We had to do a total system shutdown to get the grasper to open its jaws,' said the report filed by the hospital. The report said the patient was not injured.

Complications can occur with any type of surgery, and so far it's unclear if they are more common in robotic operations, but that's part of what the FDA is trying to find out.

Intuitive Surgical disputes there's been a true increase in problems and says the rise reflects a change it made last year in the way it reports problems.

The da Vinci system 'has an excellent safety record with over 1.5 million surgeries performed globally, and total adverse event rates have remained low and in line with historical trends,' said company spokeswoman Angela Wonson.


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