Da Vinci Surgery Lawsuit Alleges Robot Damaged to Vaginal Cuff, Bowel

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By: Austin Kirk | Published: May 11th, 2012

An Alabama woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against the makers of the Da Vinci surgery robot, alleging that design defects caused her to suffer serious internal injuries to her vaginal cuff and bowel during a hysterectomy. 

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on May 7, by Patricia Mayfield and her husband Drennan.

The lawsuit was brought against Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical System, which is a complex, remote-controlled robot that has been heavily marketed and increasingly used in recent years for a number of surgical procedures.

According to allegations raised in the complaint, Mayfield’s doctor recommended the use of a da Vinci surgical robot for the hysterectomy because it would involve smaller incisions, which would allow faster recovery times, and because it was promoted for having better outcomes.

Following the da Vinci robotic hysterectomy in January 2010, Mayfield was discharged home without any indication of complications. However, during the days following surgery she developed severe pain in her abdomen and a fever. She had to return to the hospital and was required to undergo additional treatment over the following months.

It was subsequently discovered that Mayfield sustained damage to her vaginal cuff and bowel during the da Vinci surgery, which has left her with continuing pain and permanent injury, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit claims Intuitive Surgical failed to provide hospitals with skilled technicians and proper training for doctors, and over-promoted the machine without providing adequate warnings about the risk of complications from da Vinci surgery.

Mayfield alleges that the design of the Da Vinci Surgical System is defective, pursuing claims against the manufacturer for product liability, negligence, fraud, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment.

In recent months, a growing number of da Vinci surgery lawsuits have been filed by individuals who have experienced internal injuries following their surgical procedure. The machine has been linked to reports of internal tears, burns and other problems. Often these complications occur without the surgeon even being aware of the injury, causing patients to be discharged home following da Vinci surgery, only to discover the problem days later.

Photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nimur / CC by 3.0

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There Are 5 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. I HAVE A LOT OF PAIN AND DISCONFORD AFTER A HYSTERECTOMY IN 2009 DONE WITH THE DA VINCI ROBOT.

  2. I had this surgery and ended up having to have an emergency abdominal surgery a week later due to having an infected hemetoma. I was in the hospital for a month and now have a scar going down my entire stomach and have been diagnosed with a twisted colon that I didnt have before my hysterectomy.

  3. had surgery in 2012, I thought my life would be improved following the surgery however it has only been worse. following the davinci surgery I had to have 3 reconstructive surgeries to reconstruct my urinary system, during surgery my ureters were knicked and cut. I cant even think about all I have went thru without crying, I basically become a recluse, I don’t have any energy, Im in constant pain and just depressed. I do thank God that I survived because I do have a daughter don’t get me wrong, but man I struggle on a daily basis.

  4. I had my hysterectomy with the davinci robot on September 18,2012.I was told by my doctor that using the davinci robot was the safest way to go,if I knew back then what I know now,I would’ve said hell no.I am always in pain,something is not right with my bowels.I would rather be in labor than to have a bowel movement.I get these shooting pains in my rectum and I’ll have to get up and go sit on the toilet and push until the pain goes away.I have a appt.on the 23rd and I am scared to death.Tired of emergency room visits and so afraid that I am gonna have to have more surgeries.

  5. I had the surgery and it took me 6 months to even begin to feel less pain I had to use enemas for over a year to just be able to use the bathroom laxatives wouldn’t help me. I still have really bad problems having bowel movements daily. I have to take 6 pepto’s just to be able to eat without pain in my stomache I go through 40 pills in a 2 to 3 day time. I would never recommend this surgery to anyone.

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