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 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

4 BuzzWorthy Cannabis Stocks And Some Smoking Derivative Plays

The 10 Healthiest Fast Food Chains in America to Dine At

The 5 Most Expensive Cat Food Brands You Can Spoil Your Kitty With

The 6 Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

The 10 Worst Mistakes an Entrepreneur Can Make

The 5 Most OP Characters in League of Legends to Carry Games and Crush Foes With

The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Running that Will Help You Pound the Pavement

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

How to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

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!