July 1, 2013

162017_132140396847214_292624_nRobotic surgery represents the newest medical technology. The preeminent robotic surgery system, Intuitive Surgical’s proprietary da Vinci Surgical System, enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity, and control. The da Vinci Surgical System consists of an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart where the patient lays during surgery, four interactive robotic arms, a high-definition 3D vision system, and proprietary EndoWrist instruments. The da Vinci Surgical System is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology that allows the surgeon’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered, and translated into precise movements of the EndoWrist instruments working inside the patient’s body. Intuitive Surgical has installed the da Vinci Surgical System in more than 2,025 academic and community hospital sites, with growth in excess of 25% annually.


With an eye towards making inroads into the robotic surgery market dominated by the da Vinci Surgical System, TransEnterix has developed a robotic single-site surgical platform that is mobile, provides high-definition 3D vision, and allows the surgeon to remain at the patient’s side. SurgiBot works by allowing the surgeon to make a small, single incision in the patient’s abdomen (often hidden inside the belly button) and inserting the device. It opens up like an umbrella, extending articulating instrument channels whose strength and precision are controlled by the surgeon’s hands. SurgiBot’s expansion gives the surgeon multiple channels to the operating site that are capable of accommodating both rigid and flexible, articulating instruments. Motorized hand controls give the surgeon powerful strength and precision in an ergonomically comfortable manner – offering tactile feel and freedom of movement. After completing the procedure, the surgeon closes the device and retracts it through the same small incision.

TransEnterix’s SurgiBot is small and mobile, making it easy for hospitals to move it among operating suites. Its design allows the surgeon to stand at the operating table and remain in direct contact with the patient at all times – versus other robotic systems that require the surgeon to work separated from the patient. SurgiBot’s size, footprint and cost are smaller than other robotic platforms. TransEnterix has announced that it will seek market clearance for its SurgiBot from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014.


As with most endeavors in life, competition may be a good thing in the robotic surgery market. Competition among the robotic surgery equipment manufacturers will help make sure that those players already in the market will continue to strive to refine and innovate the capabilities of their products and to bring more advanced and capable products to the operating room faster and at a lower cost than would otherwise be available where competition does not exist. We wish Intuitive Surgical and TransEnterix, as well as the others who may enter the robotic surgery marketplace, the best of luck in their efforts to make robotic surgery safer, more refined, more capable, more available, and more affordable for patients who would benefit from their products.

Nonetheless, if you have been injured as a result of robotic surgery, including but not limited to injuries sustained as a result of da Vinci surgery, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may be able to investigate your da Vinci claim (or other robotic surgery system claim) for you and represent you in a claim for personal injuries, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or telephone us on our toll-free line (800-295-3959) to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who are handling da Vinci claims and may be able to assist you with your robotic surgery claim.

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