Health News Review
  • Jul 18 2013

    Robotic Surgery Roundup: Take Me Out To The Ballgame and much more

    Robotic surgery systems are spreading so quickly across the US and across the globe that trying to keep up with the news could become a fulltime beat.  Here are just a few nuggets in an attempt to catch up on things you may have missed. The Reading (PA) Eagle reports, “Fans test surgical robot at baseball game.” Excerpts: “Fans at FirstEnergy Stadium got the chance to try Reading Hospital’s da Vinci surgical robot before …

  • Jul 30 2011

    Surgeon blogs that robotic surgery is all hype and no substance

    The surgeon who blogs as Skeptical Scalpel writes that he (she?) is unable to contain him(her)self any longer and then lunges into a review of evidence (or lack thereof) for robotic surgery. You may disagree with Skeptical Scalpel’s decision to be anonymous, but he/she explains: “I’ve been a surgeon for almost 40 years and a surgical department chairman for over 23 of those years. During much of that time, conforming to the n…

  • Jul 22 2014

    Robotic roundup: Useful? Or little clinical value?…”robotic invasion”…outpaces evidence

    Here’s another of our periodic roundups of robotic surgery news, some of which doesn’t get much attention in the mainstream news media. Forbes has hosted a little back-and-forth about robotic surgery in recent weeks.  First, Robert Pearl, MD, chief executive of the Permanente Medical Group, included a discussion of robotic surgery in his piece, “America’s Broken Health Care System: The Role of Drug, Device Manufacturers.&…

  • May 30 2013

    To a man with a new hammer….marketing claims of robotic “firsts” piling up

    Health care marketing of robotic surgery systems knows no bounds.  At the end of this piece, you can see a list of past posts on this marketing trend. Besides the explosive use in prostate surgery, we’ve seen promotions of robotic “firsts” for: first robotic cholecystectomy first TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) to treat sleep apnea first hybrid revascularization, which combines the robotic single-vessel small thoracotomy proc…

  • Mar 7 2014

    Robotic surgery roundup: great small paper journalism, new marketing/ad campaigns

    From “Not Running a Hospital” blog Since I think it’s a safe bet that not many of you regularly read The Bulletin newspaper of Bend, Oregon, I suggest you read a two-part series by Markian Hawryluk as just one indication of the difference one individual can make, no matter the size of the news organization. In part one, “Robot surgery is here to stay,” he discusses important issues of the marketing blitz for robotic

  • Aug 22 2013

    Medscape asks: “Robotic Surgery: Too Much, Too Soon?”

    On Medscape, an editor and a surgeon published a slide show series entitled “Robotic Surgery:  Too Much, Too Soon?“  (You need to register in order to see it).  Some excerpts: Is Insufficient Training a Serious Problem With Robotic Surgery? Intuitive Surgical is currently facing various lawsuits involving improperly trained surgeons. In a Medscape interview, J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Urolo…

  • Sep 10 2013

    Roundup of robotic surgery news – colorectal, endometrial, hysterectomy

    As we’ve previously noted, with the explosive proliferation of robotic surgery systems in the US, it requires almost fulltime attention on a fulltime beat in order to stay on top of what is published about robotics.  I can’t devote that kind of fulltime attention.  But from time to time, I post research results that catch my eye.  So here’s another periodic robotics roundup: Bloomberg News reports on a paper in the journal Obst…

  • Mar 26 2013

    Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories

    The Boston Globe reports that: Reports of complications from robot-assisted surgery are rising, according to Massachusetts health officials who sent hospitals an “advisory” letter last week alerting them about their safety concerns. In some cases, it appears that doctors have used the aggressively marketed robots to perform hysterectomies and colorectal operations that were too complex for the technology, or for the surgeons’ skill level in dire…

  • Feb 5 2014

    Cancer fundraiser toys with truth in using robotic surgery to get donations

    Canadians may have thought they had been transported south of the border, where robotic surgery is widely and wildly promoted all the time. But this week, for World Cancer Day, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation posted this fundraising plea: The website explains: “Give 6 patients the best surgery while changing cancer care internationally with your gift to robotic surgery. ” In calling robotic surgery “the best surgery,&#…

  • Oct 8 2013

    Bloomberg continues bulldog reporting on robotic surgery risks

    See Robert Langreth’s piece, “Robot Surgery Damaging Patients Rises With Marketing.” Langreth reflects on a familiar tale: Promotions that emphasize benefits, minimize or ignore harms “another breakthrough in robotic surgery” “Star Wars” comparisons Excerpt from the story: “Robotic surgeries are on the rise, fueled by aggressive marketing by doctors, hospitals and Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), …




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