Medically Reviewed by Nicholas R. White, MD
Discomfort. Weakness. Pressure in the lower abdomen.
These symptoms of a hernia can lead to surgery for repairing the abdominal defect. Now, with robotic assistance, McLeod Surgeon Nicholas White, MD, can get you back on your feet faster than with other surgical techniques:
Here’s a summary of Dr. White’s description:
A hernia is just a weakness or a defect in the patient’s abdomen. This can be due to many reasons. People develop these from birth. They may have defects. Patients also can develop these over time due to coughing, strenuous exercises and heavy lifting. Even obesity increases the possibility of a hernia.
The robot has two different components. The first is the patient cart, where the arms are contained. From this cart, we insert instruments inside the patient. We do this with very small incisions. The second component is the console, where the surgeon sits and is able to see in 3D with magnification. It’s almost as if the surgeon is looking from inside the patient’s abdomen. On the console, hand controls allow me to manipulate the surgical instruments inside the patient. This allows exact precision control for what we are doing.
The robot is important in hernia repairs, because it offers more dexterity inside the abdomen, enabling the surgeon to place mesh, suture and create a better repair for the patient.
The best thing about using the robot for surgery is the high definition 3D capabilities. I can see the anatomy more clearly and we have better results. In addition to this, I have instruments that have more function or movement that even my hands would have, allowing me to perform a better surgery.
The benefits of using the robot on a patient include: The patient resumes their normal activities more quickly than with traditional surgery. Patients say that they have a much less pain than expected. Also, we are finding with research that people have less reoccurrence with robot repair than laparoscopic or open surgical hernia repair.
The robot can assist in a multitude of general surgery procedures. In addition to hernia repair, we can also use the robot to assist in removing gall bladders, performing colon procedures and preventing reflux.