The general scientific knowledge of hernias has grown exponentially in the last few years. Advancements in technology have also greatly increased our surgery options. Our surgeons are experts in using the latest knowledge, techniques and technology to repair your hernia with the smallest scars, quickest recovery and lowest complication rate. During the consultation, your surgeon will determine the best surgery option for you.
This is the traditional approach with a larger incision at the hernia bulge. This type of surgery is still preferred when the hernia is either very small or very complex. For example, many inguinal and umbilical hernias are many times best performed open. Open surgery is sometimes better in complex hernia repairs when there is mesh to be removed, when intestine needs to be resected or when there is a lot of skin/fat that needs to be removed.
A form of minimally invasive surgery introduced in the 1980’s, Laparoscopic surgery uses small incisions away from the hernia bulge. It frequently leads to less complications than open surgery. Today, it is used for hernia repairs that don’t require advanced robotic surgical systems. It has several limitations: the surgeon uses straight instruments that may limit the precision of surgery, it is difficult to place mesh outside the abdominal cavity, there’s a chance of more surgeon fatigue due to poor ergonomics, and it may require painful fixation tacks and sutures.
A form of minimally invasive surgery through small incisions, robotic-assisted surgery uses surgical systems such as the daVinci robot. The robot is not autonomous. It is simply a more advanced surgical tool and is FULLY controlled by the surgeon. The robotic platform offers the surgeon fully wristed instruments and a 3D high-definition camera with 10x magnification. As a result, the repair can be done with more precision, and complex hernias can be fixed with small incisions. Furthermore, the robot does not tire and the surgeon sits during surgery, so there is reduced surgeon fatigue. Also, the surgeon is more likely to be able to sandwich the mesh between layers of the abdominal wall to keep the mesh from coming into contact with the intestines.For the patient, this translates into quicker recovery, less pain and less complications.
This is the preferred approach for medium to large hernias and many inguinal hernias as it combines the best of open and laparoscopic surgeries.
Sometimes the best option is to combine multiple techniques. We call this a hybrid technique because we may perform part of the operation robotically and another part open. Hybrid surgery is frequently performed for complex or unusual hernias, and ones that require skin or soft tissue removal.
Regardless of the option that is right for you, the surgeon’s experience is a critical factor in your decision. Using the latest robotic technology does not guarantee great results. Frequently surgeons will promise a laparoscopic or robotic approach but have a high conversion rate to open surgery. Fortunately, our experts at minimally invasive hernia repair have extensive experience and an extremely low conversion rate.