Dr. Oliver Whipple, general and robotic surgeon, discusses hernias and how they are repaired using minimally invasive robotic surgery.
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What is a Hernia?
– Most of the time we think of the hernia
as what we see protruding
off of our abdominal wall
or out of the groin.
That's actually something from the inside
pushing through the hernia.
The hernia itself is a hole.
And it's a hole in the muscular lining
of our abdominal wall.
The reason that's important
is when we discuss repairing a hernia,
what we're actually gonna do
is patch that hole and
generally from the inside.
So nothing will push
through it and get caught.
There are really two
reasons that we fix hernias.
The most important reason is that
it has become very symptomatic.
It bothers you, it
interferes with your ability
to do what you want to on a routine basis.
The second reason that we repair a hernia
is to keep those contents from inside
our abdomen that are
pushing through that hernia
from getting stuck and
acquiring an emergency surgery
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How are Hernias Repaired?
when we're talking about robotic
or laparoscopic hernia repair,
we're gonna go into the abdomen
with several small devices, a camera,
so that we can see the
hole from the inside.
Once we do that, depending
on where the hernia is
and how large it is,
sometimes we'll suture
the muscle back together and close it.
And then we'll put in
a patch from underneath
to cover the hernia.
Where the robot gives us an advantage
in repairing these hernias,
is it allows us to either
sew the mesh in place
to the underside of the abdominal cavity
or sew that inner lining
or repair it in the end
of the abdominal cavity
back up to cover the mesh.
It also gives us a wonderful
three dimensional view
of the area when we're working.
Recovering from Minimally
Invasive Hernia Repair Surgery
With a minimally invasive robotic repair,
you would generally go
home either the same day
of the operation or the next day.
We try to limit any
extreme exertional activity
or heavy lifting for a period
of three to four weeks.
Afterwards people can get back
to their normal level of activity.
I generally tell my
patients after about four
to six weeks they won't
think about me anymore
when they more or turn.

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