An article published in the January-February, 2014 edition of Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery titled “Pneumomediastinum after robotic sacrocolpopexy.” reviews a case of pneumomediastinum in a woman who underwent robot-assisted surgery for the repair of posthysterectomy prolapse. The team writes “Pneumomediastinum is a rare but potential complication of laparoscopy that is related to insufflation with carbon dioxide gas and may lead to life-threatening complications.”
This woman was 76 years old, and underwent surgery “without any apparent intraoperative complications.” Sadly, after surgery, she developed a rapid heartbeat, was short of breath, “and was found to have subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum.”
The research team (led by NM Crawford) states in its conclusion that “Pelvic surgeons should understand the risks associated with development of pneumomediastinum as well as associated signs and symptoms. In our case, pneumomediastinum likely developed as carbon dioxide tracked from the peritoneum into the mediastinum during prolonged robotic retroperitoneal surgery.” (emphasis added)
As such, these doctors believe “Surgeons should have a low threshold to obtain radiographic tests in the early postoperative period, as close monitoring is essential to manage potentially life-threatening complications such as pneumothorax and cardiac arrest.”
Due to the fact that the manufacturers of many robotic surgery systems have failed to warn users of the elevated risk for complications and longer hospital stay associated with robot-assisted surgery, a number of surgical robot lawsuits have been filed. If you or a loved one underwent surgery assisted by robot, you too may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of surgical robot lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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