Major-market TV news glorification of “scarless” robotic surgery

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An example of how major-market television news delivers gee-whiz, awestruck segments on robotic surgery.

This is from the NBC station in Los Angeles.

The formula is familiar:

  • surgeon comes on the set still wearing scrubs
  • he says he just did 3 robotic procedures that day
  • one of them was “first single-site, single-incision gallbladder removal done by a community hospital in state of California”

It amounted to more than 6 minutes of free advertising.

And in all that time, no mention of any data, no mention of any concerns or questions that have been raised by a growing number of observers about the proliferation of robotic surgery systems or the “gizmo idolatry” at play with segments like this.

This is not journalism.  It is 6 minutes of free advertising.

Thanks to The Skeptical Scalpel for this tip.


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