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Lawsuit Filed Over Problems Suffered After DaVinci Robotic Hysterectomy

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 3 Comments

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An Ohio woman and her husband have filed an injury lawsuit against the makers of the da Vinci surgical robot, alleging that defects in the design of the complex machine caused her to suffer serious problems after a robotic hysterectomy.

The complaint (PDF) was filed against Intuitive Surgical by Anna and Benjamin Lerhaupt on November 21, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Lerhaupt indicates that she suffered a vesicovaginal fistula and infection after a da Vinci hysterectomy surgery and gall bladder removal.

According to allegations raised in the lawsuit, the surgery has left Lerhaupt with ongoing injuries, including cramping and bladder problems, as well as an inability to have intimate relations with her husband.

The lawsuit accuses Intuitive Surgical of suppressing reports and complaints involving problems following da Vinci surgery, and indicates that the manufacturer has failed to provide proper training for physicians on the operation of the robot.

Similar Lawsuits Pending Over Problems Following da Vinci Robotic Surgery

The da Vinci Surgical System is a complex, remote-controlled robot that has been heavily marketed and increasingly used in recent years for a number of surgical procedures to provide a less invasive surgery, which reduces recovery time. However, a number of patients have reported experiencing serious complications following da Vinci surgery, including burns, tears and other injuries to surrounding organs, vessels or tissue during surgery.

The robot is controlled by a surgeon looking at a virtual reality representation of the patient’s internal organs and manipulating its four metal arms with hand and foot controls.

The Lerhaupt complaint is one of a growing number of injury lawsuits over da Vinci surgery filed by individuals throughout the United States who have suffered complications following a hysterectomy or other procedure involving the robot.

The lawsuits involve similar claims concerning design defects associated with the machine, indicating that the electrical current used to cut tissue may pass outside the surgical field. In many cases, these problems are not recognized during surgery, and result in complications hours or days later.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied a request to consolidated the da Vinci robot litigation. Therefore, all cases pending throughout the country are proceeding as individual lawsuits without coordination during pretrial proceedings.

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3 comments

  1. anita Reply

    I went through complication from this same procedure. Performed by alocal doctor here in lakecity, fla.this doctor’s training in using this machinary,I believe was of very low minimal qualifications. I’m currently in suit against this doctor due to malpractice but am looking in to filing suit against the makers of this device.

  2. Kimberley Reply

    I had a hystorectomy in 2012 for unknown reasons to me they left my Cervix well since the surgery I have Cramping a lot and pain where my gull bladder is. It’s Very uncomfortable to have intercourse with my husband. I would Not Recommend this surgery !! It has Truely effected my love life I have no desires at all for sex! Soooo Not me!

  3. Laurie Reply

    I had a hysterectomy removing my cervix and my uterus in February 2014 and just went back for my second surgery laproscopic,to find out that I now have endometriosis!! I it was very painful for me to have sex the last few months so I went back a second time and I’m just wondering why they never found endometriosis at the beginning but now I have it!!!???

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