Although they may be a common health issue, hernias can be painful and cause disruption to your daily life. Because of that, people will often quickly seek treatment, often in the form of either laparoscopic or robotic hernia repair. But what exactly are the differences between the two?
What’s A Hernia?
A good starting point here is to understand exactly what a hernia is, and why it might need repairing. The simplest definition of a hernia is a weakness in the muscle that keeps your abdominal organs in place. There are multiple types of hernias that can be located in different areas, or arise from different situations, but most will require treatment at some stage. Two such treatment options are laparoscopic and robotic hernia repair.
Being that laparoscopic hernia repair uses a very thin instrument that is inserted through a small incision, it’s considered to be minimally invasive, unlike an open hernia repair. As you are under anesthesia for this procedure, you will not feel any sort of pain.
The doctor will first inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide so that they can properly view the area with no obstruction. Using the small video camera attached to the laparoscope to see, the doctor will then cut the inner lining of your abdomen, thus showing the area in which the hernia is present. Using a surgical mesh, the doctor will effectively patch the area in the abdominal wall and strengthen the surrounding tissue.
Because of its minimally invasive nature, this form of hernia repair will leave you with very few scars. You may see small incisions on your abdomen, and three small scars from the laparoscope, but over time these will not be as noticeable. In addition, recovery time is very short, sometimes even taking a few short days. You’ll be back to your normal life in no time!
Robotic hernia repair is very similar to a laparoscopic repair in that it is very minimally invasive and use small cameras to see the inside of your abdomen.
The surgeon will essentially follow the same exact process as a laparoscopic hernia repair, but there will be a “step” in between the surgeon and the patient in the form of a robot! Instead of the surgeon operating directly on you, they will use a machine to assist in the procedure, allowing for a much steadier hand more focus on the area of weakness. In addition, the images provided to the surgeon will be three-dimensional as opposed to two-dimensional ones in a laparoscopic repair.
John L. Polhill, MD will ultimately decide what procedure is best for you, but should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office in Dublin, GA! Call us at (478) 275-2454 to schedule an appointment with a hernia specialist today!