Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): Report Calls Usefulness of Robotic Surgery Into Question

If you are a woman and you have the choice between a doctor removing your uterus with her own hands, or having a robot perform the procedure that allows for more precise movements during the procedure, which would you choose?

Over the years, more and more woman have been choosing the robotic option — specifically, the daVinci Robotic System designed and manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG). That helps explain why shares of the company’s stock have risen more than 6,000% in the past decade.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)But a recent report appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association is calling into question the effectiveness of robotic surgery in the case of hysterectomies.

Read below to see what this could mean for Intuitive, and at the end, I’ll offer up access to a special premium report on the company that will keep you up to date on all the latest happenings.

The specifics of the report
In 2007, a scant 0.5% of all hysterectomies were performed robotically. By 2010, that number had risen to 9.5% – a pretty enormous increase over such a short time frame. Researchers studied the cases of roughly 250,000 women over that time frame who had either robotic or traditional hysterectomies.

The results showed that complications rates from the procedure stood at 5.5% for those performed robotically, and 5.3% for those performed traditionally. Though this wasn’t enough to be statistically significant, the costs associated with the robotic procedure are much higher than standard surgery. This — said the study’s authors — begs the question: Why use robotic surgery at all for hysterectomies?

Intuitive’s chief medical advisor, Myriam Curet, said that because the study didn’t look at the long-term benefits of robotic procedures — like patient recovery time — that it failed to paint a complete picture of what minimally invasive robotic procedures have to offer.

Also lost in the report was the fact that researchers did find one huge pattern: “as use of the robot increased, there was a decrease in the percentage of women who received a traditional ‘open’ hysterectomy, in which the uterus is removed through a large incision in the abdomen.”

What this means for the company
Intuitive is more than a one-trick pony. The company’s robot is used primarily in gynecological and urological procedures, but is also being tested for effectiveness in cardiothoracic, head and neck, and general surgery. That being said, U.S. hysterectomy procedures accounted for 39% of all da Vinci procedures performed in 2012.

Source: SEC filings.

A significant decline in the number of hysterectomies being performed would change the makeup of the company’s revenue stream quite significantly.

One thing to remember, however, is that the push to use da Vinci comes just as much from patients demanding the option as it does from doctors adopting it. Knowing that the number of open and invasive procedures shrunk as da Vinci operations rose can be a huge factor when one is determining what route to take when having surgery.

This report is but one piece in the puzzle for investors looking to own a part of a company that is changing the way some soft-tissue procedures are carried out, both in the U.S. and abroad.

The article Report Calls Usefulness of Robotic Surgery Into Question originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Brian Stoffel.

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool recommends Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intuitive Surgical.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

The 10 Richest Stand Up Comedians in the World

The 10 Fattest Countries in the World

The 5 Best Summer Jobs for Teens

The 10 Most Religious Countries in the World Keeping the Faith

The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

The 10 Most Popular Cell Phones in the World

The 10 Drunkest Countries in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Private Schools in the World

The 10 Smallest Countries in the World

Walking Dead Season 5 Spoilers You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know

The 10 Poorest Countries in the World

The 10 Greenest Countries in the World

The Top 10 Countries with the Highest Population in the World

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

The Top 10 Star Wars Characters in the Iconic Series

The 10 Most Expensive Android Phones in the World

5 Reasons Why The Illuminati Is Real and a Threat to Society

The 6 Scariest Halloween Costumes Ever Screamed At

The 4 Biggest Hedge Fund Managers in the World Today

The 15 Most Densely Populated Countries in the World

The 10 Biggest Tea Drinking Countries in the World

Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Process and Close Sales

The 5 Most Profitable Online Businesses You Can Start Today

The 20 Most Profitable Hospitals in the US

The 5 Most Profitable Home Businesses to Start

The 7 Teams that Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2015

The Top 10 Most Expensive Digital Cameras to Snap Stunning Shots With

The 10 Highest Quality Fast Food Restaurants In America Today

The 8 Best Halloween Decorating Ideas to Spook Up Your House

10 Marvel Women that Should Get a Movie Right Now

The 20 Best Remixes of Popular Songs that Will Make You Forget the Originals

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

The 5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure in the World

The 10 Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!