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Hospitals hype robot surgery for women: study

Reuters, July 23, 2012

Researchers sifted through online information from 432 hospitals across the country and found nearly half marketed robotic surgery for gynecologic conditions such as endometriosis or cervical cancer. A quarter of those hospitals used boilerplate copy from the robot manufacturer Intuitive Surgical, and one in six told consumers that "you owe it to yourself." However, almost none mentioned potential downsides to the technology such as increased operating time or higher cost compared with conventional types of surgery. "Many of the claims that were made by hospitals were not supported by high-quality data," said Dr. Jason Wright, a gynecologic surgeon at Columbia University in New York, who led the new work.