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Robotic surgery and medical malpractice: What are your options?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

There have been great strides in surgical technology in recent decades. Robotics (also known as artificial intelligence or AI) are playing a larger role in many procedures. 

Depending on what type of surgery you’re having, there may be a robot on your surgical team. AI systems can perform procedures that involve small, precise cuts that are difficult (or impossible) for human hands to make.

When is robotic surgery used?

Often robotic surgery involves the use of a robotic arm with small tools attached. The surgeon uses a computer to control the arm. Robotic surgery can be used for coronary artery bypasses and valve replacements, removal of cancerous tissue, organ removal and transplants, hip replacement and much more.

While robotics can help improve surgical outcomes and reduce the chance of errors, they aren’t guaranteed not to malfunction or make errors. So what happens if someone has been injured or their condition has been made worse by a robotic surgery error?

Who’s responsible when something goes wrong?

If someone is harmed during robotic surgery, it’s necessary to find out precisely what happened. Was there an error in the directions the surgeon or other medical professionals provided the robot or AI system? If that’s what happened, you might have a case against the doctor and potentially the hospital. 

Did the robot malfunction in some way – either by not responding correctly to the instructions or by not performing a procedure correctly? If that happened, you might be able to hold the manufacturer of the equipment liable. That doesn’t mean that the hospital or the medical professionals using it are free of blame, however.

Getting to the bottom of what happened in cases of any surgical injury can be difficult. When technology has played a significant role in a procedure, that’s even more true. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine where the fault lies and who should face civil liability for your injuries and other losses.