FDA taking a new look at robot surgeons

April 9, 2013 9:52:27 AM



CHICAGO -- A million-dollar robot named da Vinci is hot in operating rooms these days. But problems are giving the high-tech helper new scrutiny. 


The Food and Drug Administration is looking into an increase in reported problems including deaths during robotic surgeries. Its medical device database lists dozens of problems and at least five deaths since early last year. 


The FDA is trying to figure out if there's a real connection with the robot. 


Surgeons who use the robotic system say it leads to shorter hospital stays for some patients and is safer than surgery using big incisions. Critics argue that robotic surgeries cost more, and that newer doesn't always mean better.