What is Robotic Hernia Surgery?
Robotic hernia surgery is a robot-assisted surgical procedure for the treatment of hernias. It can be used for the treatment of:
- Abdominal hernias, such as inguinal, femoral, and umbilical hernia;
- Diaphragmatic or hiatal hernia, and,
- Incisional hernias
The use of robots for incisions and sutures increases the efficacy of the surgery and speeds up the recovery process.
Alternate Name of Robotic Hernia Surgery
Laparoscopic hernia surgery
How is robotic hernia surgery performed?
A robotic hernia surgery uses cameras called laparoscopes and robotic arms to assist in the surgery. Hernias can either be treated through open surgery or through robotic laparoscopic surgery. The former requires a large incision to cut the abdomen wide open. However, with the advent of tiny cameras and precisional robotic arms, open surgeries have been replaced by robotic hernia surgeries.
In this type of procedure, the doctor operates the robotic arms through a console. The arms make keyhole-sized incisions in the abdomen of the patient. The laparoscope is inserted through these incisions inside the body cavity of the patient and the images are projected on a TV screen for the surgeon to see. The surgeon uses the same robotic arms to put the herniated tissue back in place, suture the tissues, and perform any other procedures that may be required.
- Clothing requirements: As you enter the hospital for scheduled hernia surgery, make sure that you are wearing loose-fitting clothing to be able to change easily. Get rid of all the jewellery or metal bracelets. Avoid wearing heels, as they can cause discomfort while walking back due to the side effects of anaesthesia.
- Nutritional requirements: Avoid smoking and drinking at least a day before the surgery. Talk to your doctor to time your last meals as per the surgery timings.
Usually, the patient is required to appear before the doctor two weeks after the surgery has been performed. Follow-up is recommended to ensure that the surgery was completed without any complications. During the follow-up, your doctor may be interested in performing additional imaging tests and lab exams to confirm that the hernia has completely been repaired. A close wound inspection is done during this time to ensure that the wound is healing properly and that no associated infection or bruises have developed. A follow-up also provides the patient with an additional chance to communicate to the doctor any uneasiness that they may be experiencing since they underwent the surgery.
Risks For Robotic Hernia Surgery
A robotic hernia repair surgery can cause complications which are similar to other major surgeries on the abdomen.
- As the surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, there can be anaesthesia-related complications.
- Heavy internal bleeding can result during robotic hernia surgery due to slight mistakes or improper localisation, which can result in cutting a major blood vessel.
- This surgery can also unintentionally cause damage to the adjacent organs, such as the bladder or the intestines, and can cause related complications.
An eye should also be kept out for other risks, such as blood clot formations, wound infections, and increased unusual pain after the surgery.
Recovery From Robotic Hernia Surgery
Since robotic hernia surgery uses very small incisions for the repair of hernias, the recovery process is usually quite faster when compared to open hernia repair surgeries. The chances of wound infection are reduced, hospital stays are shorter, and blood loss is limited.
The restraints on physical activity after the surgery depends on the type of hernia being treated and the size of the herniation. Mostly, after undergoing hernia repair surgery, patients should avoid heavy weight lifting or strenuous physical activity for up to 2-4 weeks.
Other physical activities, such as running, jumping and straining excessively on the toilet must be avoided for a few weeks after the surgery.