Da Vinci mechanical failure rare; other risks at play

Don't blame the robot. At least, that's what a new Archives of Surgery study this week suggests about the Da Vinci. Morbidity and mortality associated with surgical patients have more to do with other risk factors, rather than flaws in the Da Vinci technology, according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"After reviewing all these cases, we can say for sure that there is no specific morbidity connected with the robot by itself, and that its mechanical failure is very, very rare," lead author Pier C. Giulianotti of the division of general and minimally invasive surgery, said in a HealthLeaders Media article.

The Da Vinci robot, championed as a minimally invasive tool over open incisions or laparoscopy, is associated with shorter recovery times and lower infections rates, according to researchers. Study authors found that when surgical patients under the Da Vinci technology did experience complications, it was associated with patients' body mass index less than 30, patients over 70 and diagnosis of malignant disease such as blood loss and transfusion, as well as the type of procedures such as a liver resection, pancreas removal, and lung resection and kidney transplantation. Article