However, because there are complication rates and a risk of mortality with robotic surgery, it's important that surgeons who use the robot have appropriate experience and training, Giulianotti says.
"Unfortunately, there are institutions that are using the robot just because they want to be in the newspaper and want to advertise (that they have the latest technology)," although sometimes their surgeons are not sufficiently trained on the device. "The procedure ends up taking longer because people don't know exactly what to do, and this is connected to bad training."
Longer procedure times mean more anesthesiology and greater risk.
Giulianotti says that the study points to the need for hospital medical staffs to make sure surgeons are adequately trained and credentialed before granting staff privileges for robotic surgery.
"I think the surgical community and associations should work to clearly evaluate the standards, which are the guidelines for proctoring, teaching and training for giving privileges," to perform robotic surgery in hospitals, he says.
At the University of Illinois, he says, "We never let an inexperienced surgeon operate alone (with the da Vinci) without guidance or proctorship."