An article published earlier this month (February 2014) titled “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Robotic vs Conventional Thyroidectomy Approaches for Thyroid Disease.” by GH Sun et al. in Otolaryngology provides us with helpful insight into the relative safety and efficacy of surgical robots, which have become increasingly prevalent in the modern operating room, at least for certain procedures.

This article compares the outcomes for traditional thyroidectomy and robotically-assisted thyroidectomy “for thyroid nodules and cancer.”  For data, this study team “examined relevant controlled trials, comparative effectiveness studies, and cohort studies for eligible publications” and “calculated the pooled relative risk for key postoperative complications, mean differences for operative time, and standardized mean differences for length of stay (LOS) using random effects models.”

Using a total of 11 studies comprised of a total of 726 patients who underwent robotic surgery and 1205 patients who underwent conventional surgery, the team used a series of statistical analyses to determine which procedure was more safe and effective.  Sun et al. (2014) write “Mean operative time for robotic thyroidectomy exceeded open thyroidectomy by 76.7 minutes”, but note that “There were no significant differences in hematoma, seroma, recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, hypocalcemia, or chyle leak rates.”

However, the team concludes that “Transaxillary and axillo-breast robotic and open thyroidectomy demonstrate similar complication rates, but robotic approaches may introduce the risk of new complications and require longer operative times.” (emphasis added)

Due to the fact that Da Vinci, the manufacturer of many popular surgical robots has failed to warn users of the increased risk for complications associated with its products, a number of Da Vinci surgical robot lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one underwent surgery in which Da Vinci surgical robots were used and faced complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Da Vinci surgical robot lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, experience, and resources required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

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