Intuitive Surgical is receiving glowing write-ups in many financial papers. Their technology, which uses robots to perform surgeries, is painted as the future of all procedures. Intuitive Surgical claims that having a doctor use joysticks and other interactive controllers to manipulate the surgical robot leads to less scarring and fewer complications, and Wall Street is rewarding the company for this claim.
But the writers of these articles would not have to look very far to see that it is not as simple as Intuitive Surgical would have them believe. The company is facing hundreds of lawsuits from patients who, rather than suffering fewer complications and side effects, are still experiencing fallout from procedures performed a decade ago. The growing pains with technology have been significant, and it is the patients who have suffered them.
Through Intuitive Surgical attempts to explain these lawsuits away, claiming there will always be patients who suffer bad outcomes, the company fails to explain why they have had to change their devices so many times. In the last ten years, new parts have had to be developed and sourced to address higher than expected cases of scarring and long-term complications of their procedures.
The most recent changes in design were in 2013-2014, and Intuitive Surgical claims most of the lawsuits come from before these changes were made. Even if this is true, it means the company marketed a dangerous product for years before making the necessary changes to make their robots safe. This hardly encourages a potential patient to trust their products now, knowing that in another five years, another change might be needed.
If you or someone you love has suffered complications from surgery, whether the procedure was performed using traditional methods or with technological assistance, it is important to know what avenues are available to you for holding the medical establishment accountable. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.