The “Best Robotic Hernia Repair”
in Houston, TX
Despite monumental advances in robotic hernia repair, many surgeons are still performing hernia repair using the traditional surgery techniques of the open method, leaving a substantial scar on the patient, which is why Dr. Brian Harkins offers his patients robot-assisted surgery. Robotic laparoscopic hernia repair surgery requires two to five small incisions that allow the specialized surgical tools into the body to access the affected area. Patients selecting minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery found it is much kinder on the body. However, some hernia may not require surgery, but last year, there were over 1 million hernia surgeries completed in the United States in 2016, with over 800,000 being inguinal.
In comparison to open surgery, which leaves a sizeable scar, the small half-inch incisions are barely perceptible. Dr. Harkins has mastered the art of robotic hernia repair and proudly offers his patients the ultimate in-patient care through the da Vinci Xi surgical system. Although both procedures repair the hernia, the da Vinci robotic laparoscopic surgery has less impact, allowing patients to heal faster, spend less time in the hospital, and return to normal routines more quickly than those treated using open surgery procedures under general anesthesia.
Classifications of Hernia Presented for Robotic Hernia Surgery
Hernia occurs in both males and females but is more prevalent in males. Hernia can be present at birth, and it’s not uncommon for male infants up to two years old to require robotic hernia repair surgery. Children from ages 3-13 may also present with hernia, but it is not as common in this age group compared to infants and other age groups. Ages 14-40 see an increase in incidence. The most commonly seen hernia patient is aged 40-60. Inguinal, hiatal and umbilical hernias are the most commonly occurring hernia. Robotic surgery is shown to be the best method for repair. Hernia types classified according to where they occur include:
When the hernia doesn’t heal or progresses, robotic hernia surgery is needed to repair the problem. Dr. Harkins and his team are well versed in robotic hernia surgery. Dr. Harkins accepts only the very best for his patients, using the latest in laparoscopic surgeries, the da Vinci Xi. Using the da Vinci Xi not only causes less pain, it also allows surgeons to make more precise movements, allowing for nearly perfect repairs with patients returning to normal activities at a much faster rate than those treated with open surgery.
Inguinal hernia occurs in the lower abdomen and occurs when tissue, like the intestines, exploits a weakness in the abdominal muscles and protrudes through. Although less common, the bladder may also protrude. The condition itself is not life-threatening but complications which arise as a result of the hernia can be life-threatening immediate requiring robotic repair surgery.
Inguinal hernia is named so because it appears above the inguinal canal, which contains the spermatic cord in men. Symptoms include unusual bulging on either side of the pubic area that may be accompanied with burning or aching pain in the area of the bulge, pain when bending, squatting, lifting, or coughing. Additional symptoms include an unusual heavy or dragging sensation in the groin area, weakness or pressure in the groin area. When the protrusion reaches the groin area, it may cause severe pain and swelling.
When a patient suffers a hiatal hernia, a portion of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm. This condition exploits the natural opening your esophagus uses, pushing the stomach up into the opening. This condition is normally very small and not likely to even be noticed by the patient and are discovered during a physical exam. There are two types: sliding and paraesophageal. Sliding often resolves itself, but paraesophageal is more serious as this can cause strangulation and increase the probability of a robotic hernia repair surgery.
Umbilical hernias are a protrusion in the naval, generally caused by intestines, fat or fluids. Umbilical hernias are most common in infants and normally resolve on their own by the time the baby reaches one year. When this condition occurs in adults, the hernia tends to become larger over time, and robotic hernia surgery is needed to repair it. The risk of strangulation is also of concern and can be life threatening. Careful monitoring is needed to ensure strangulation does not occur.
Femoral hernia, or femorocele, is a bulge appearing at the top of the thigh near the groin. Named for the femoral canal that contains the femoral artery, it is found just below the inguinal groin ligament. Less than 5% of all hernias are femoral and can be small enough that the patient is not even aware of it. Like inguinal, the same complications can arise. Dr. Harkins is keenly aware of the dangers associated with femorocele and is adept at performing precision movements using the da Vinci Xi to perform robotic hernia repair surgery. Patients may be placed under general anesthetic or in some cases local anesthetic, while talented surgeons, like Dr. Harkins, gently repair the damage and prevent further complications through robotic surgery.
Epigastric hernia occurs between the navel and breastbone with protrusions of fat pushing through the wall of the upper abdomen. Robotic hernia surgery repair is the optimal method used to treat this condition. Repair in this area is particularly suited for laparoscopic robotic hernia repair surgery in women who wish to keep scarring to a minimum.
Incisional hernia occurs after an open surgery, most often along a vertical incision from a traditional open surgical procedure. This condition can occur soon after surgery or even years later and is often very painful and requires surgery immediately. However, the risk for this type of surgery can be reduced by using assisted robot laparoscopic hernia repair surgery.
Common Hernia Complications
Complications can occur in patients with any type of hernia, particularly for the three most common hernia types. Strangulation occurs when the tissue becomes trapped in the abdominal wall, cutting off circulation and causing damage. When blood flow is constricted, it is termed incarcerated and can become life threatening. Patients may experience fever, pain, nausea, a bulging hernia that is becoming discolored to red, purple or darker and as well as bowel activity being stopped. Patients with these symptoms should call Dr. Harkins immediately to schedule laparoscopic robotic repair surgery.
Robotic laparoscopic hernia surgery performed for hernia complication repair by a skilled surgeon like Dr. Harkins ensures patients a shorter stay in the hospital, a faster recovery time and returning to normal activities. Some patients having robot-assisted laparoscopic hernia repair surgery may not even need a general anesthetic.
Robotic Hernia Repair Surgery Procedure
During a minimally invasive robotic hernia surgery, the surgeon uses small incisions to insert special tools to push the protrusion back through the opening, then the surgeon sews the opening closed and may use a special mesh to strengthen the wall. Dr. Harkins’ first concern is the comfort and health of his patients, so he has mastered robotic laparoscopic hernia repair surgery and is highly adept with the latest in robot-assisted surgical equipment, the da Vinci Xi system, to provide the ultimate patient care.
Minimally invasive laparoscopic assisted robotic surgery allows for precision repair, faster healing, lower risk of incisional hernia occurrence, less time in the hospital, less pain, and a faster return to normal activities.