A hernia occurs when tissue pushes through an opening in the abdomen (ventral hernia) or groin area (inguinal hernia.)
Lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms, but surgery is often the only way to repair a hernia. If surgical repair is right for you, then talk to your doctor about all of your options, including minimally invasive, robotic-assisted surgery. Genesis Medical Center, Davenport is the only hospital in the region to have the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.
Why choose da Vinci for hernia repair?
Early studies suggest that patients who receive robotic-assisted hernia repair report less pain and may get home from the hospital sooner than those receiving laparoscopic or open surgery.
Possible benefits to patients include:
- Decreased rate of hernia returning
- Shorter hospital stays
- Fewer complications, including lower infection rates
- Less blood loss
- Reduced need for narcotic pain medicine
- Faster recoveries
- Small incisions and minimal scarring
Note: Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery will not be candidates for da Vinci surgery either.
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They make up about 70 percent of all hernias. These hernias occur when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal.
The inguinal canal is found in the groin. In men, it’s the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord holds up the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament that helps hold the uterus in place. This type of hernia is more common in men than women. This is because a man’s testicles descend through the inguinal canal shortly after birth, and the canal is supposed to close almost completely behind them. Sometimes, the canal doesn’t close properly and leaves a weakened area prone to hernias.
A ventral hernia is a bulge of tissues through an opening of weakness within your abdominal wall muscles. It can occur at any location on your abdominal wall. Many are called incisional hernias because they form at the healed site of past surgical incisions. Here abdominal wall layers have become weak or thin, allowing for abdominal cavity contents to push through.
Hernias can occur in other places of your body and are named after the location where they occur — for example, a femoral hernia occurs in your upper thigh.
Do you have these symptoms?
- Swelling, a bulge or pain in the abdomen, pelvis or groin area
- Pain or discomfort, especially when bending over, coughing or lifting
- Weakness, pressure or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
- Acid reflux, chest pain or difficulty swallowing?
What will your surgeon do?
During robotic-assisted surgery, your surgeon will use a 3D high-definition camera for a crystal-clear and magnified view of your hernia.
Your surgeon will sit at a console next to you and operate through a few small incisions using tiny instruments, including a camera. Your surgeon fully controls all instruments. Every hand movement is translated by the da Vinci system in real-time to bend and rotate the instruments for a precise repair of your hernia.
Surgeons benefit from da Vinci’s magnified high-definition 3D vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate to a much greater degree than human hands.