Robotic Hernia Repair?
Robotic surgery is a newer technique for repairing hernias. Like laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery uses a laparoscope and is performed in the same manner (small incisions, a tiny camera, inflation of the abdomen, and projecting the inside of the abdomen onto a monitor.
Using the da Vinci® robot, the surgeon makes a few small incisions in the abdomen and uses long, thin instruments and a tiny camera. The camera projects to a video monitor in the operating room to guide your surgeon during the operation.
The robot cannot act on its own. Surgery is performed entirely by the surgeon. Your surgeon will be sitting at a console right next to you.
Your surgeon fully controls all instruments. Every hand movement is translated by the da Vinci® System in real-time to bend and rotate the instruments for a precise repair of your hernia.
Robotic surgery is used to treat all types of hernias, including:
Incisional (Previous Surgery Sites)
Hiatal (reflux/GERD/upper Stomach)
Umbilical (Belly Button)
What are the advantages of robotic hernia repair compared to other techniques? (Open vs. laparoscopic vs. robotic)
- Nissen fundoplication also referred to as a Lap Nissen, is a laparoscopic procedure performed for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Many patients with reflux can be treated with medicines to decrease acid production in the stomach. This will minimize the damage to the esophagus from acid refluxed up from the stomach, and allow the esophagus to heal. However, some patients continue to have severe symptoms of either regurgitation or incomplete healing of their esophagus despite high doses of medical therapy. These patients should consider surgery as another option.
- Laparoscopic hernia surgery improves post-operative pain and wound infection by making tiny incisions as well as avoiding cutting through the muscle. However, it may be difficult for the surgeon to suture the abdominal muscles together to restore the natural anatomy of the abdominal wall. Most of the time, the repair involves “patching a hole.” Also, placement of a hernia mesh may involve the use of a laparoscopic tacking instrument which places tacks through the mesh and into the abdominal wall. This can result in increased and sometimes chronic postoperative pain
- Robotic hernia surgery is a minimally invasive approach that combines the benefits of both open and laparoscopic techniques. It uses high precision miniature instruments and a high definition 3D Camera. The instruments used in robotic surgery have a greater range of motion than the human hand or a traditional laparoscopic instrument. This results in increased precision and allows the surgeon to maneuver instruments in a way that delivers the best surgical results. The robot allows approximation of the abdominal wall muscles using sutures as well as suturing of a hernia mesh. It avoids the use of laparoscopic tacking instruments, which can result in significant postoperative pain.
- The addition of robotic-assisted hernia surgery to our practice has greatly enhanced the outcome for our patient's post-operative recovery, resulting in a faster return to work and regular physical activities soon after surgery.
How It Works
In summary, the benefits of robotic hernia surgery include the following:
- Reduced pain
- Minimal scarring
- Reduced risk of infection
- Increased core strength
- Better cosmetic results
- Faster return to work and full unrestricted activity
- Quicker return to tolerating a regular diet