Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Women, have you met da Vinci?

Women, have you met da Vinci?  Not the famous Italian inventor and artist of yesteryear.  No, I’m talking about the very futuristic Robotic Intuitive Surgical System that Silicon Valley has developed. Hospitals are staking their future economic success on this revolutionary device, and women appear to be the main target. 
With a promise of speedy recovery from robotic surgeries like hysterectomies, women could become the cash cow hospital administrators have been seeking.  The United States has the highest rate of hysterectomy in the industrialized world with 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year (Hysterectomy Misunderstood by Many U.S. Women, September 13, 2011).  And with the cost of the da Vinci robot costing hospitals upwards of $1.5 million, they are under pressure to push for as many surgeries as possible to recoup their hefty investment (Rock Center with Brian Williams, June 14, 2013)
If women think they have nothing to fear from an operating room run by the da Vinci, think again.  In a recent interview on the Rock Center, Dr. Nancy Snyderman talked with women whose surgical recovery from the daVinci was less than satisfactory (Rock Center with Brian Williams, June 14, 2013).  In fact, some of the patients’ entire internal organ systems were destroyed by the clumsy and experimental machine.  We all know that computer programs and other man-made devices are subject to human error, and they occur on a regular basis.  Yet, the developer of this Intuitive Surgical System is adamant that they have done enough testing and continue to force it on the public.

Reminiscent of the movie “Edward Scissorhands,” the machine’s operator sits feet away from the patient performing the intricate surgical procedures.  Manipulating a machine inside a body with numerous organs, blood vessels and nerves is not a job for anyone peering through a lens sitting feet away.  The human body is extremely delicate, and performing major surgery is not like playing video games.  Nor is this a science fiction - or fantasy of some executive’s imagination.
I had a hysterectomy when I was 38, and I recovered excellently.  I know it can be overwhelming when facing a surgical procedure, but don’t be pressured by any medical team or hospital to do what is not in your best interest.  Do your “due diligence” before agreeing to any medical procedure performed by a robot. Hospitals are not in the human business.  They are in the money-making business. 

© 2013 Mouth Wired Shut

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