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

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 / CC by 3.0

Tags: , , , , , , ,


  1. cathy Reply


  2. Sue Reply

    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. Moody Reply

    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. kimberly Reply

    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. carolyn Reply

    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.

  6. Jacquie Reply

    I had a partial hysterectomy about two years ago robotic …I have never been the same I always felt like I had a uti or a bladder infection pressure when I pee, and feeling li,e I have to have a bowel movement all the time even in the middle of the night I have such pressure all the time in my viginal area like I am about to have a baby. Back and forth to my doctor and treated for bladder infections then went back to the gyn that did the surgery now she tells me I need a viginal cuff repair…this is crap…they should tell you of this chance before. Now I have to see a urologist because my obgyn doesn’t do this? This sounds funny? Maybe she know she made a mistake and wants to pass me off….so sad…good luck to you other ladies your in my prayers.

  7. Kim Reply

    Had a robotic partial hysterectomy .
    Was in ER week later with fever . There was no vaginal check whatsoever , nothing was done . Went to doctor for my check up a week later he did no internal examination . Seven weeks after the surgery I began leaking urine from my vagina . When into the gynecologist for an examination His words to me exactly in quotations I’m so sorry this happened to you you have a fistula . He referred me to a urologist That explain to me he would have to got me like a fish To repair this. I refused and said is there no surgeon in the tri-state area that can do this robotically ? Have a Denteley no doctor in Tri-City area has ever repaired a fishtail a robotically But was referred to a robotics specialist in the field Who was able to take on my case and repair the damage . Urologists told me to my face that The gynecologist over stitched Catching my bladder while sewing my vaginal cuff causing the damage in the fistula . This should’ve been recognized before the end of the surgery . However it was not causing a second repair surgery . I contacted local attorneys which would not touch the case because even though it’s not a common complication it is a known complication . As long as the problem was repaired they have no liability . Yet I’m stuck with the unpaid medical cost of the second surgery ..

  8. Ashley Reply

    I was 28 when I had my hysterectomy in 2014. My OB used the Da Vinci robotic system during my hysterectomy. He said it was a perfect surgery. 12 weeks later my husband and I were cleared to have intercouse. We ended up at the ER that night. I had severe pain in my abdomen from gas entering during intercourse. The ER physician didn’t see anything wrong, no OBGYN examined, and I was sent home in pain. I met my OBGYN the following Monday. He didn’t see any perforation and told me to wait a few more weeks. We got the all clear for intercourse again and ended back at the ER. We encountered the same situation. ER physician didn’t see anything, no OBGYN examined, and I was sent home in pain. I met back with my OBGYN and he put me on pelvic rest without intercourse for several months. My husband and I went back. He said everything looked great and asked us to have intercourse at home and promptly return so he could examine after. We live an hour from the hospital so he actually let us have intercourse in the examination room and told us to crack the door when we finished. It happened again. Blood everywhere. We cracked the door, I was examined, and he informed the nurse to get the operating room ready because he could see my bowels. I had an emergency reconstructive surgery. I have not torn anymore but I still have so much pain. I love my doctor and would never want to take legal action against him but I have considered against Da Vinci. My doctor informed me that he dislikes the Da Vinci because of the morcellator (spelling) requires the removal of the cervix. The fact I had to endure a hysterectomy at such a young age was hard enough and the frequent, expensive, and embarrassing nonproductive trips to the ER made it much worse. It was very hard on our marriage due to lack of intercourse, frustration, and medical expenses.

  • Share Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.
  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.