4 Hernia Clinics | Walnut Creek, Concord, Antioch, & Brentwood
April 8, 2023

Robotic Hernia Surgery

The hernia occurs when a weak spot in the muscle wall or surrounding tissues allows a part of the body to push through. In most cases, a hernia between your chest and hips cannot be treated without surgery.

Fortunately, most hernias can now be treated with keyhole surgery using laparoscopy/robotic systems due to advances in technology. The use of robotic surgery makes it possible to treat complicated and incisional hernias, resulting in a fast recovery, a reduction in pain, an early return to work, and minimal blood loss. Below, we discuss everything that you need to know about robotic hernia surgery in detail. 

What Is Robotic Hernia Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for hernias. The two common types of surgery are open-repair hernia surgery and laparoscopic hernia repair. An open hernia repair involves making an incision in the groin. A surgeon identifies the hernia "sac" and pushes the bulging intestinal elements back into the abdomen, strengthening the abdominal wall with stitches or synthetic mesh.

Hernia repair with laparoscopic surgery involves inserting a camera called a laparoscope into the abdomen and viewing the hernia defect on the monitor. By using the monitor image, the surgeon performs the removal of the hernia sac from the abdominal wall defect and the replacement of the defect with a prosthetic mesh.

The robotic surgery technique is a newer way to fix hernias. In robotic surgery, a tiny camera is used, the abdomen is inflated, and a screen shows the inside of the abdomen, quite like the laparoscopic procedures. 

How Does It Work

The robot does not actually perform the surgery, as some believe. Basically, the robot only follows the movements and commands of the surgeon in real-time and can't operate on its own.

A surgeon controls the robotic arms during an operation by sitting at a console in the surgical suite. An onboard camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view of every part of your body and your surgeon's hand movements are translated into accurate bends and rotations of instruments in real-time. In simple terms, the surgeon can directly control the surgical instruments inside the patient with their natural hand and wrist movements with the help of the robot.

As a result, it offers a greater range of motion and precision than procedures performed by hand.

Robotic surgery can be used to treat all types of hernias, including:

Pros and Cons of a Robotic Hernia Surgery

There are a number of benefits associated with robotic surgery, but there are also some drawbacks. Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits of hernia surgery:

  • Human hands have a limited range of motion compared to wristed robotic arms. Consequently, robotic hernia surgery allows the surgeon to manipulate instruments in a manner that optimizes surgical results. This allows for more complex work to be done.
  • Robotic and other minimally invasive hernia repair surgeries are likely to result in a faster recovery, including shorter hospital stays because they reduce tissue trauma and incision sizes.
  • Robotic surgery causes less trauma and postoperative pain because the surgeon has better visibility and can make precise movements, so tissue damage and pain are reduced.
  • After robotic hernia repair, most patients can return to work within 1 - 2 weeks. However, strenuous physical activity may not be allowed for up to 6 weeks or until cleared by the surgeon.

Additionally, there are some drawbacks to consider:

  • It is common for robotic surgical procedures to take longer, raising hospital costs as well as posing some risks for patients.
  • Hernias are often repaired with mesh prosthetics, small patches designed to close the defect and reduce recurrence rates. Mesh prostheses can be difficult to place during robotic surgery.
  • The cost of robotic hernia surgeries can be higher than those that are performed through open surgery or laparoscopy. Robotic surgery supporters argue that the costs associated with each procedure are offset by shorter hospital stays.
  • If the surgical site is complex, an open approach may be required, which can lead to complications and extended surgery times.

To better understand if robotic hernia surgery is the right option for you, book a consultation with a Hernia specialist at Hernia Innovations now!