A hernia occurs when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle, usually in the abdomen. Hernias can affect patients of all ages. A combination of muscle weakness and straining, such as from heavy lifting or severe coughing, is a frequent cause. People who are born with weak abdominal muscles may be more likely to get a hernia.

Surgery is a common treatment to repair hernias, often using a mesh material to reinforce the tissue in the affected area. This mesh allows for a “tension-free” repair. This decreases postoperative pain, allows for quicker recovery and decreases the chance of recurrence.

Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers minimally invasive robotic-assisted hernia repair surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The da Vinci gives the surgeon more control, better precision and improved visibility.

An incisional hernia occurs along an incision from an earlier surgery. In robotic-assisted surgical repair of incisional hernias, a piece of mesh is placed over the  hernia on the inside of the abdominal wall and secured in place.

An inguinal hernia happens in the abdominal wall of the groin. During robotic-assisted inguinal hernia repair, this bulging tissue is pushed back in. The abdominal wall is strengthened and supported with sutures and sometimes mesh.

Robotic-assisted Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure used to treat larger, symptomatic hiatal hernia and reflux. During fundoplication surgery, the upper curve of the stomach (known as the fundus) is carefully wrapped around the junction of the esophagus and stomach and sewn into place. This creates a barrier that prevents the flow of acid into the esophagus. The hiatal opening is also reduced in size with sutures.

Benefits of robotic-assisted hernia repair include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Potentially less blood loss
  • Fewer complications - including reduced risk of infection
  • Less scarring due to much smaller incisions
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery from surgery and return to normal routine

As with any surgery, the above benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While robotic-assisted hernia repair surgery is considered safe and effective, it may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

Contact a physician who performs minimally invasive robotic hernia surgery: