Robotic hernia surgical repair is a relatively new technique that was developed to reduce the invasiveness of the surgery, which then allows the patient to recover rapidly with minimal pain and practically no scarring. Unlike traditional hernia repair that can require a month or more of recovery, patients treated with robotic hernia surgery are usually fully recovered much sooner. Here at Surgical Associates of South Florida, we encourage you to learn all about this revolutionary new procedure.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is an abnormal opening that develops in the abdominal wall that allows the internal organs, most commonly the intestines, to slip through and be visible under the skin as a bulge. Hernias in men most often develop in the groin, where the inguinal canal creates a natural weak spot in the abdominal wall. Hernias also commonly develop at the belly button where the umbilical cord also created a natural weak spot. They can also develop in other locations. Although hernias usually do not cause any overt symptoms, a person with a hernia is at high risk of developing a strangulated hernia in which a loop of intestine gets caught in the hernia and has its blood supply cut off. This condition is a life-threatening emergency and for this reason, most doctors recommend getting hernias repaired.
Robotic Hernia Surgery
During robotic repair of a hernia, after the patient is anesthetized, several very tiny openings are made to allow insertion of the robotic instruments. The instruments transmit detailed three-dimensional images of the area to the robotic terminal. The surgeon sits at the terminal and manipulates the robotic tools using an intuitive interface to place the internal organs back in their normal positions, to install a piece of mesh in the abdominal wall to support it, and to close the opening in the abdominal wall. Then, the instruments are withdrawn and the tiny openings are sealed.
What is the Recovery Like?
Recovery is quite straightforward: the patient is urged to take it somewhat easy for a week and to avoid doing anything that hurts. Otherwise, the patient can return to normal activities.
What are the Benefits of Robotic vs. Conventional Repair?
In addition to the extremely short recovery time vs. the lengthy recovery time required for conventional repair, robotic surgery is able to place the reinforcing mesh inside the abdominal wall, where it cannot migrate. In conventional surgery, the mesh is tacked on inside the abdominal wall like a patch on a tire, and sometimes it comes loose and wanders off, causing damage. During the robotic surgery, the surgeon has an excellent view of the surgery site and can operate the instruments with great precise, which also improves patient outcomes.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
June is Hernia Awareness Month! If you feel you are experiencing hernia-related symptoms, we urge you to reach out and make an appointment with Surgical Associates of South Florida. At our convenient location in South Miami, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain robotic hernia surgery and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation.