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Robotic Surgery May Shorten Hospital Stay for Hernia


People often wait until their hernias cause unnecessary complications to seek treatment because they are afraid of surgery. Hernias occur when an organ bulges through a weak spot in a muscle or tissue, so the only effective way to treat a hernia is often to surgically repair the area. Previously, surgical methods required large incisions that took a while to heal, but new robotic methods are far less invasive.

How Do Robotic Hernia Surgeries Work?

During a hernia surgery, the primary goal is to move the protruding organ back to its proper spot and close any holes or openings that the organ was bulging through. Hernia repair may just be done with medical sutures, or surgical mesh may be applied to strengthen a weak spot. Because hernia surgery is relatively simple and stays focused in one area of the body, it is ideally suited to robotic surgery. During the surgery, robotic instruments will be used to make all incisions and perform all procedures. However, there is still a medical professional in the room with you, and the surgery will be performed by a real surgeon who is controlling the robot through cameras and computer controls.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotic Surgery?

The main advantage of robotic surgery is that it can be done with much smaller tools. Instead of needing to use tools that are manipulated by a human hand, robotic surgery allows precise movements with extremely small surgical instruments. It is typically performed laparoscopically, which means the instruments are inserted through tiny incisions that are farther away from the main surgical site. Instead of a incision that is several inches long, robotic surgeries just require a few small incisions of less than an inch in width. The surgery is therefore minimally invasive, and it allows for faster patient healing time. Open hernia surgery typically prevents a patient from even light activity for three weeks, but robotic surgery typically allows patients to start moving around again after about one week. However, there are also a few downsides to robotic surgery. It takes slightly longer than the average hernia surgery, and it is slightly more expensive because the advanced tools are more costly than basic surgical equipment.

Robotic hernia surgery is still a relatively new procedure, so there are fewer doctors who are experienced at the procedure. It can be somewhat difficult to find a doctor in your area who can perform the surgery, but if you are willing to deal with the additional cost and time, you can enjoy a shorter recovery time from your hernia treatment.