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Today’s hernia patients have more treatment options than ever before, and many choose to undergo da Vinci robotic hernia repair. This type of hernia surgery offers great results and faster healing due to the minimally invasive nature of da Vinci hernia surgery– but it often leaves patients with a lot of questions. That’s what this guide is for. We’re here to walk you through everything you need to know about hernia surgery with the da Vinci platform and how it can help you. 

What is da Vinci Hernia Surgery?

The reason this surgery is called a da Vinci hernia surgery is because it uses the da Vinci Surgical System. This robotic tool is designed to assist surgeons in performing minimally invasive surgeries. This doesn’t mean that a robot is doing your surgery, or that the movements are programmed in. The surgeon still controls everything. However, the robotic arms, high-definition 3D camera, and tools attached to the platform give them a greater range of motion and higher precision than their own hands. Using the da Vinci system for hernia repair surgeries can improve same-day discharge rates and a quicker postoperative recovery, making it a popular option among surgeons and patients alike.

Unlike traditional open hernia surgery, where a large incision is made, da Vinci robotic hernia repair involves making several small incisions. The da Vinci platform reduces risk and allows surgeons to operate in smaller spaces with smaller incisions, leading to shorter healing times. 

During robotic hernia surgery, your surgeon will use the da Vinci surgical system to:

  • Visualize the Surgical Site: The system provides a magnified, high-definition, 3D view of the surgical area, allowing your surgeon to see details not visible to the naked eye.
  • Manipulate Instruments: Your surgeon uses the hand and foot controls at the console to manipulate the robotic arms and surgical instruments. These instruments have greater precision and range of motion than human hands, allowing for delicate maneuvers in tight spaces. This precision leads to less tissue damage and reduces a number of surgical risks, including the risk of infection and excessive blood loss.
  • Perform the Surgery: Using the robotic arms and instruments, your surgeon carefully dissects the tissue, repairs the hernia, and closes any openings or defects.

Preparing for da Vinci Robotic Hernia Repair

Preparation for da Vinci hernia surgery is similar to preparation for any surgical procedure. Your surgeon will conduct a thorough medical evaluation to assess your overall health and suitability for surgery. They will take images with an ultrasound to find out exactly where the hernia is and walk you through the plan for the surgery.

You need to make sure that they know about any medications, supplements, or herbs you are taking, as some may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped. During the medical evaluation, your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding fasting, medication use, and other preoperative measures. It’s also advisable to abstain from smoking and alcohol consumption in the days leading up to surgery, as they can interfere with the healing process.

The da Vinci Hernia Surgery Process

Once you arrive at our surgery center, you will receive general anesthetic before your surgery. 

Hernia repair is one of the most prevalent types of robotic surgery, and is considered very safe. Instead of one big incision, smaller incisions are made on the patient’s side. This means that fewer muscles are cut during surgery, allowing you to recover and get back to your normal routine much more quickly. 

Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will use the console controls to manipulate the tools. They will dissect the necessary tissue and make repairs. They may use a surgical mesh to repair any tissue damage, or they may use your own tissue; it depends on the severity of the hernia and your individual needs. During surgery, there is a chance that the surgeon will find additional herniated tissue. If this is the case, they will repair them during the operation.

Once the hernia repair is complete, the robotic arms are disengaged, and the small incisions are closed with sutures or surgical glue. Sterile dressings will be applied to the incision sites to protect them as they heal. Most da Vinci robotic hernia repair procedures take one to four hours, after which you will wake up from anesthesia and go home. You will need someone to drive you home; you won’t be released without accompaniment.

What Comes After da Vinci Hernia Surgery?

Recovery from da Vinci robotic hernia repair is typically faster and less painful compared to traditional open hernia repair surgery. However, the exact recovery timeline varies from patient to patient. Most patients can go home the same day, although this does depend on individual circumstances. Pain after robotic hernia surgery is usually mild to moderate and can be managed with medication prescribed by your surgeon. Generally, fewer narcotics are needed due to the smaller incisions. 

Once you leave the hospital, you will need to reduce your activity for a while as your body recovers. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions regarding activity restrictions, but most patients can gradually resume normal activities within a week or two. You also need to make sure to attend your follow-up appointments. These are scheduled to monitor your recovery and ensure that the surgical site is healing properly. Keep the incision sites clean and dry, and follow any instructions provided by your surgeon for wound care.

Most patients who go through da Vinci robotic hernia surgery are able to shower on the same day as their surgery. You will also be able to walk, lift items less than 25 pounds, and even bend over to tie your shoes. However, you should avoid lifting heavier objects, running, repetitive bending motions, or heavy activity. Your surgeon will help you with any questions you have about returning to work or other activities. 

Ask Us About da Vinci Robotic Hernia Repair 

Hernias are both common and painful, and you don’t have to suffer while dealing with one. At Arizona Premier Surgery, our experienced surgeons can help you through the experience with ease, setting you on the road to recovery and helping you maintain the lifestyle you love. Contact us today to learn more about our techniques and treatment options like da Vinci hernia surgery.

Sources:

https://arizonapremiersurgery.com/2024/04/24/robotic-hernia-surgery-recovery-what-to-expect/

https://arizonapremiersurgery.com/procedure/robotic-hernia-repair-surgery-scottsdale-az/

https://www.intuitive.com/en-us/patients/procedures/general-surgery/inguinal-hernia

https://www.facs.org/for-medical-professionals/news-publications/news-and-articles/bulletin/2023/may-2023-volume-108-issue-5/robotic-surgery-is-here-to-stay-and-so-are-surgeons/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36282359/