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July 2014

Current Choices in Robotic SurgeryWhether to Increase Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul
  • 2Department of Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul
  • 3Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotic Surgery Center, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University Medical Center, Seoul
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(7):627-628. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3999

On an unusually quiet afternoon, we turned on the television and found that all the channels were broadcasting soap opera reruns. We kept changing channels and finally picked one that was popular several years ago. One of the supporting characters was a famous actress—unfortunately, because of the way she died.

On May 16, 2011, a large number of the Korean population was upset over the news reporting the death the famous actress after her robotic nephrectomy. Many people felt betrayed because they expected amazing outcomes from robotic surgery. The first Korean robotic surgery was performed in 2005, and it immediately gained national attention because of the impressive advertising by the manufacturer and hospitals, who were seeking more patients. In the United States, where most robotic surgery has been practiced, it has been a topic of debate since the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical Inc) in 2000 under a controversial process known as premarket notification.

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