Robotic Hernia Repair Offers Faster Recovery and Less Pain
By Gregg Baranski, MD, Surgeon, Virtua Surgical Group
Hernia surgery used result in a slow, painful, difficult recovery. Not anymore.
Thanks to innovations in robotic and minimally invasive approaches, surgeons are able to perform hernia repair surgery through tiny incisions rather than the large incisions associated with traditional open surgery. The result is less damage to surrounding tissues, less pain for the patient and a much quicker recovery—often within days.
Robot-assisted surgical techniques have been used for years to provide advanced treatment for cancer, as well as heart, urologic, and gynecologic conditions. Today, general surgeons apply the same technology to other types of procedures, including hernia repair.
Robotic surgery is used to treat all types of hernias, including:
- Inguinal and femoral (inner and outer groin)
- Umbilical (belly button)
- Incisional (previous surgery sites)
- Hiatal (reflux/GERD/upper stomach)
What exactly is a hernia?
Hernias are caused when an organ squeezes through a tear or weak spot in the tissue that surrounds it. Common locations for hernias include the groin, belly button, and previous surgery scars. Hernia repair surgery involves returning the organ to its proper place and fixing the tears in the surrounding tissue.
Why is robotic hernia surgery a better option?
Robotic surgery provides a number of advantages over traditional open surgery and standard laparoscopic procedures. While open surgery offers a full view of the abdomen and the ability to work freely inside the affected area, it requires a large incision through muscle and tissue. This type of incision can be more painful and take longer to heal.
Laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery uses small incisions, but the instruments and surgeon’s visibility are limited.
The robotic surgery system, which is controlled by the surgeon at all times, uses tiny instruments and 3D cameras to precisely repair the affected area.
The advantages of robotic surgery include:
- A smaller incision. An incision that is the about the size of a pencil eraser reduces scarring, recovery time, blood loss, and risk of infection.
- Better visibility. Using a high definition, 3D camera provides the surgeon with better visibility than laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery.
- Increased precision. The wristed robotic arms have a greater range of motion than a human hand. This allows the surgeon to maneuver instruments in ways that deliver the best surgical results.
How patients benefit from robotic hernia surgery
Because of robotic technology, many patients experience significantly less pain after surgery and return to normal activity much more quickly. In fact, 90% of our surgical hernia repair patients go home the same day.
Robotic hernia surgery can benefit almost anyone. This includes first-time hernia repair patients and people who need hernia revision surgery. It’s appropriate for the most common to the most complex hernia procedures.
Many of our hernia revision patients are especially pleased when they experience the benefits of robotic surgery. Often, they’ve had a long recovery and other problems after traditional open surgeries or laparoscopic procedures. After robotic repair, they can’t believe how good they feel and how quickly they’re able to resume their normal activities.
Don’t postpone your hernia surgery
Years ago, many people would put off hernia repair because they were worried about pain and lengthy recovery times. Such delays can lead to dangerous complications and emergency surgeries. With such advanced technology, there’s no reason to put off hernia surgery.
If you need a hernia repair, talk to your doctor. Or, call 888-847-8823 to make an appointment with a Virtua robotic surgeon.
Updated December 20, 2021