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July 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Robo doctors less invasive, but more expensive

A shortsighted analysis

I am a recent prostate-surgery patient who had a successful procedure. The robotic (da Vinci) surgery was performed at the University of Washington by an experienced surgeon. It was performed in a room that is almost totally different in organization and cleanliness than the one in the photo [“Robo docs,” page one, July 8].

I believe The Times’ article on the cost surgical robots was shortsighted; it focused too much on the direct cost of the equipment and the surgery, and did not emphasize enough the indirect cost of a shorter stay in the hospital and the shorter recovery period at home in order to get back to a productive life after surgery. And the fact that there is less bleeding and pain for the patient is a big bonus.

The Times owes it to its readers to correct the impression about the cost of surgical robots. The comments at the end of the article by Dr. Joseph Gifford refer to all the costs in the total health-care system and not just the robotic process, yet the subject of the article is the robot.

Do an analysis of the total costs for just the surgery, the hospital stay and then the recovery period.

— Jim Wendle, Kent

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I thank you for your letter Mr. Wendle! I had a Da Vinci total hysterectomy at... MORE

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