As a surgeon involved in more robotic surgeries in my hospital than any other surgeon, I can say with confidence....the de Vinci isn't going away and it WILL proliferate. As a user, I can also say that like any other surgery there are some "surgeons" that shouldn't be doing surgery and should never touch the thing. But most of these people are the same ones that should not have chosen surgery as a specialty at all. Will there be patients hurt in robotic surgery....yes, though I can honestly say, I have not seen it. Keep in mind that I have seen many surgeons do "'traditional" surgeries that I would never let operate on my dog, let alone me or family. As for instruments being a problem? It happens, but it is rare and easily delt with. All this fuss is to be expected with new technology. Full disclosure....I own less than 50 shares and have never owned more (I arrived to the party too late). But I will.
This is a wonderful opportunity to add to your 50. Approval for the SI model was just recieved in Japan late last quarter. Japan is about 1/3 the size of the US in surgeries and they were waiting for approval for the new features and training potential of the SI. ISRG is also moving nicely into General Surgrey Domestically and with a new stapler-cutter and further enhancements on the way (Cardica's 5mm stapler-cutter) they should expand their market in General Surgery to that similar to Gynecology. By my reconing they have captured about 1/6th of their potential. So at $450 (P/E of ~25) they should continue to appreciate earnings by 20-25% for the next 5 years and your $450 investment should become ~$1200 by the time the next President is sworn in.