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Robotic Inguinal Hernia


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If you’ve been diagnosed with an inguinal (or groin) hernia and your doctor recommends surgical repair, you’re not alone. About 800,000 inguinal hernia repairs are performed in the United States each year.

An inguinal hernia happens when tissue, most often part of the intestine, bulges through a weak area of abdominal muscle in the groin area. Inguinal hernias make up about 75 percent of all hernias and are most common in men.


Understanding your options

Doctors sometimes recommend watchful waiting if the hernia is small and there are few or no symptoms, but surgery is the only way doctors can repair an inguinal hernia. In all surgery types, the surgeon repairs the weakness in abdominal wall and, in most cases, reinforces it with some type of surgical mesh to prevent the hernia from recurring.

Surgeons can repair inguinal hernias with traditional open surgery, which requires a large incision in your abdomen, or a minimally invasive approach. In traditional open surgery, the surgeon looks directly at the surgical area through the incision and repairs the hernia using hand-held tools.

There are two minimally invasive approaches: laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci technology. Surgeons perform minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgeries through a few small incisions. To perform a laparoscopic hernia repair, surgeons use special long-handled tools while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.


How da Vinci works

Surgeons can perform inguinal hernia repair using da Vinci technology. With da Vinci, your surgeon sits at a console next to you and operates using tiny instruments through a few small incisions.

A camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view inside your body. Every hand movement your surgeon makes is translated by the da Vinci system in real time to bend and rotate the instruments with precision.

It’s important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with the da Vinci system is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.

Learn more

Why surgery with da Vinci?

A review of published studies suggests potential benefits of an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci technology include:

  • Patients who had an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci had a lower rate of complications after surgery from the time they left the hospital through 30 days after surgery compared with patients who had an open procedure.
  • Although fewer than 1 in 10 inguinal hernia repairs requires an admission to the hospital, called an inpatient stay, patients who had an inguinal hernia repair with da Vinci technology stayed in the hospital as an inpatient for a shorter amount of time than patients with similar characteristics who had an open procedure.

All surgery involves risk. You can read more about associated risks of inguinal hernia repair here.

Questions you can ask your doctor

  • What medical options are available for my hernia?
  • What happens if I don’t get surgery?
  • What is the difference between open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted surgery?
  • Can you tell me about your training, experience, and patient outcomes with da Vinci?
  • How will I feel after surgery?

Find a da Vinci surgeon

Resources for learning more

Hernia repair brochure

Take away information about hernia repair with da Vinci technology in our brochure designed for patients and their families.

About your options

General surgery with da Vinci

Robotic-assisted surgery with da Vinci technology is used in many different types of procedures by general surgeons.

About the specialty

  1. Rutkow, I.M. (2003). Demographic and Socieconomic Aspects of Hernia Repair in the United States in 2003. Surgical Clinics of North America; 83(5):1045-51, v-vi.
  2. Groin Hernia Repair, American College of Surgeons, Web, 10 January 2019
  3. Inguinal Hernia, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health. Web. 10 January 2019.
  4. Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Web. 10 January 2019.
  5. Supporting data includes data from a retrospective, multi-center, non-randomized controlled clinical study evaluating the use of the da Vinci Surgical System in Inguinal Hernia Repair procedures compared with open surgical procedures.
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