Analysts defend Intuitive Surgical as docs defend robot-assisted surgery

March 18, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

Analysts continue to defend Intuitive Surgical amid a Wall Street nosedive as minimally invasive surgeons react in defense of robot-assisted surgery.

Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robot-assisted surgical system

Updated March 18, 2013, at 2:15 p.m. with a correction.

Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) gained back a few points on Wall Street today as analysts noted movement among minimally invasive surgeons arising to defend robot-assisted surgery.

A group of surgeons over the weekend issued a public letter chiding American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists president Dr. James Breeden over an editorial highlighting cost concerns and a perceived lack of evidence behind the hype around robot-assisted procedures.

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"We see a failure in ACOG's ability to embrace the education of minimally invasive surgery," the doctors wrote. "Robotic surgery is an enabling technology that has transformed our ability to operate in a more efficient, controlled surgical field and master complex anatomical environments. It has allowed us to extend a level of quality surgical care to our patients that is exceptionally more diverse and complete than was ever possible with traditional methods of surgery."

The letter came in response to Breeden's letter, published last week by ACOG, which called into question the cost-to-benefit ratio for expensive robot-assisted surgical procedures.