Robotic surgery is “innovation without evaluation”

In an editorial in BMJ (2013), Paul et al discuss the introduction of robotic surgery without prior evaluation. More than 360,000 robotic surgical procedures were carried out worldwide in 2011, using the only licensed robotic system; the da Vinci system developed by Intuitive Surgical. Urologists and Gynaecologists were early adopters of the technology and in 2011 more than 100,000 radical prostatectomies and 125,000 hysterectomies were performed robotically. In USA robotic surgery has become a symbol for advanced care, however it is a very expensive technology and evidence that its use improves outcomes is scarce at best.

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