Robotic-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique that has been used for the treatment of various conditions, including hernias.
The robotic system typically consists of a surgeon console, a patient-side cart with robotic arms, and a high-definition 3D vision system.
During robotic hernia repair, the surgeon sits at a console and controls the movement of robotic arms, which hold the surgical instruments, allowing the surgeon to perform the procedure with greater dexterity and control than traditional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery.
Robotic hernia repair has been shown to have several benefits compared to traditional surgery, including shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, and faster recovery times.
It also allows for better visualization of the surgical site, which can help the surgeon identify and repair hernias more effectively.
Here are a few reasons why a surgeon might choose robotic hernia repair:
Complex or Recurrent Hernias: Robotic hernia repair may be preferrable for patients with complex or recurrent hernias. The robotic instruments provide the surgeon with a greater degree of precision and control.
Minimally Invasive Surgery: Robotic hernia repair is a minimally invasive surgery, meaning it involves smaller incisions and less trauma to the body than traditional open surgery. This can lead to less pain, faster recovery, and fewer complications.
Patient Preference: Some patients may prefer robotic hernia repair over other types of surgery because it is less invasive and may result in less pain and scarring.
Surgeon Preference: Some surgeons may prefer robotic hernia repair because the robotic instruments allow them to perform the surgery with greater ease and precision, potentially leading to better outcomes for the patient.
However, it is important to note that robotic-assisted surgery may not be appropriate or necessary for all cases of hernia repair.
While robotic hernia repair can be a safe and effective option for many patients, there are certain situations in which it may not be appropriate. Here are some contraindications for robotic hernia repair:
Severe Obesity: Robotic hernia repair may not be appropriate for patients who are severely obese, as the robotic instruments may not be able to effectively reach the hernia site due to the amount of excess tissue.
Severe Cardiopulmonary Disease: Patients with severe cardiopulmonary disease may not be good candidates for robotic hernia repair due to the risks associated with general anesthesia.
Previous Abdominal Surgery: Patients who have had multiple abdominal surgeries or who have extensive scar tissue in the abdomen may not be good candidates for robotic hernia repair, as the robotic instruments may not be able to effectively reach the hernia site.
Large Hernias: Patients with large hernias may not be good candidates for robotic hernia repair, as the robotic instruments may not be able to effectively repair the hernia.
Active Infection: Patients with an active infection in the hernia site may not be good candidates for robotic hernia repair, as the risk of complications may be higher.
Bleeding Disorders: Patients with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinning medications may not be good candidates for robotic hernia repair, as there is a higher risk of bleeding during the surgery.
There are different types of robotic hernia techniques that can be used depending on the location and type of the hernia:
Transabdominal preperitoneal involves making small incisions in the abdominal wall and inserting a laparoscope and robotic instruments to repair the hernia from inside the abdominal cavity. This technique is often used for inguinal and femoral hernias.
This involves making small incisions in the abdominal wall but does not enter the abdominal cavity. Instead, the surgeon creates a space between the abdominal wall and the peritoneum, and then repairs what is often an inguinal or incisional hernia.
In addition to TAPP and TEP, there are also other robotic hernia repair techniques such as:
Robotic-Assisted Ventral Hernia Repair: This involves repairing hernias in the abdominal wall.
Robotic-Assisted Hiatal Hernia Repair: This involves repairing hernias in the diaphragm.