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The commercialization of robotic surgery: unsubstantiated marketing of gynecologic surgery by hospitals

  • Maria B. Schiavone
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Eugenia C. Kuo
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • R. Wendel Naumann
    Affiliations
    Blumenthal Cancer Center, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC
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  • William M. Burke
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Sharyn N. Lewin
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Alfred I. Neugut
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Dawn L. Hershman
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Thomas J. Herzog
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
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  • Jason D. Wright
    Correspondence
    Reprints: Jason D. Wright, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 161 Fort Washington Ave., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10032
    Affiliations
    Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY

    Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
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      Objective

      We analyzed the content, quality, and accuracy of information provided on hospital web sites about robotic gynecologic surgery.

      Study Design

      An analysis of hospitals with more than 200 beds from a selection of states was performed. Hospital web sites were analyzed for the content and quality of data regarding robotic-assisted surgery.

      Results

      Among 432 hospitals, the web sites of 192 (44.4%) contained marketing for robotic gynecologic surgery. Stock images (64.1%) and text (24.0%) derived from the robot manufacturer were frequent. Although most sites reported improved perioperative outcomes, limitations of robotics including cost, complications, and operative time were discussed only 3.7%, 1.6%, and 3.7% of the time, respectively. Only 47.9% of the web sites described a comparison group.

      Conclusion

      Marketing of robotic gynecologic surgery is widespread. Much of the content is not based on high-quality data, fails to present alternative procedures, and relies on stock text and images.

      Key words

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