Health News Review
  • 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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  • 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 [...]

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  • Sep 4 2013

    Unaccountable health care…underreporting of robotic surgery problems

    A paper published online first by the Journal of Healthcare Quality, “Underreporting of Robotic Surgery Complications,” raises questions about how accurate a safety picture is publicly available. The paper is authored by Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins and two colleagues.  Makary is a frequent critic of the proliferation of robotic surgery systems. I found [...]

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  • 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. [...]

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  • Jul 19 2013

    FDA warning letter to robotic surgery manufacturer, which complains of “negative press”

    Bloomberg News reports: “Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of robotic surgical devices, fell in extended trading after it disclosed a Food and Drug Administration warning letter and reduced its sales forecast. The company received the warning letter July 17, Chief Executive Officer Gary Guthart said during a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • May 9 2013

    More questions about expanded uses of robotic surgery: gallbladder and bladder cancer operations

    Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, as Paul Levy writes on his Not Running A Hospital blog, is a surgery to remove a gall bladder using laparoscopic instruments through holes in the abdomen instead of cutting it open.  Lap choles, for short. “So, what do you do if you are a robotic surgery device company that has saturated the [...]

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  • May 2 2013

    Marketing marriage made in heaven (?) – medical center & mall & surgical robots

    In December of 2011 I wrote about about New Jersey’s Saint Barnabas medical center promoting its robotic surgery system to holiday shoppers at a New Jersey shopping mall. Then, in December of 2012, I wrote about the mall marketing trend spreading to places around the country. Now, the New Jersey medical center gets more publicity by [...]

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  • Apr 9 2013

    Urology journal publishes papers with questions about robots and proton beam therapy

    Probably the two most frequent subjects on this blog regarding the proliferation of new medical technologies are proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery.  Since this blog focuses on media messages about health care interventions, we generally focus on the marketing claims made for these technologies. The latest edition of the journal Current Urology Reports [...]

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