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Robotic Inguinal Hernia Surgery Program

Patient Information

Hernia surgery at the San

Hernia repair is one of the most common surgical procedures – using either open incision, laparoscopic (keyhole) or robot-assisted techniques. To date, the laparoscopic approach has been regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for minimally-invasive inguinal hernia repairs. Robotic-assisted surgery is a well-established minimally-invasive surgical approach used in Australia for the past 20 years, and at Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) for more than 10 years. With robot-assisted hernia repair, patients can generally expect less pain, fewer complications, shorter stay in hospital, and a quicker return to work and normal activities.

The San is proud to be holding the first Quality Improvement Project to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of robotic-assisted short-stay hernia repair in a high-volume robotic surgery centre, and patients can give consent for the use of their clinical data as part of this project. Not every patient is suitable for robotic surgery. Every patient will be carefully assessed by their surgeon, and their hernia surgery will be done via the most clinically appropriate approach for their individual needs.

The first step for patients who have been diagnosed with a hernia is to have a discussion with their GP about their specific hernia, all their treatment options, and then choose a specialist. If robotic surgery is determined to be the most appropriate approach, patients can agree to have data routinely collected as part of their surgery analysed in this Quality Improvement Project, with the aim to improve outcomes for our patients.

There are six specialists involved in this particular project, however the San has a large number of highly qualified general surgeons who also specialise in hernia surgery, so patients can rest assured they will be able to have their hernia repair surgery at the San with a specialist of their choice.

This project was reviewed by the AHCL Research Office and approved by the AHCL Director of Research as a QI project in accordance with the NHMRC Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities (March 2014) and the Health Privacy Principles #10 and 11. No ethical risks were determined with the project.