Another prostate cancer awareness issue: lack of training & standards for robot users

Important story by Reuters. Excerpt:

"The more you do, the better you're going to get. The question is at what point are you doing safe surgery," said , said Dr. Kevin Zorn, chief of urology at Weiss Memorial Hospital at the University of Chicago.

Zorn was lead author of an article in the September issue of the Journal of Urology that proposed instituting training standards for surgeons using the equipment. Currently, there is no credentialing system to evaluate a surgeon's competency and surgeons cannot practice on simulators before taking on live patients. Zorn believes such machines ought to exist.

He recounted one case of a surgeon who was using the system for the fourth time. After eight hours of surgery, the proctor -- an experienced surgeon who supervises the operation -- told the surgeon that progress was too slow. He recommended the surgeon switch to conventional surgery, where an incision is made from the navel to the pubic bone to access the prostate.

After the proctor left the operating room, the surgeon continued using the robot. The patient later died from complications.

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 18, 2009 4:19 PM.

Dr. Rob looks at real prostate cancer awareness: turning prostate CA into CASH was the previous entry in this blog.

Escalating cost of questionable medical technology is the next entry in this blog.

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