Robotic Inguinal Hernia
About the program
Inguinal hernia repair is one of the most commonly performed general surgical procedures, with simple procedures often performed as day cases. The gold standard is laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery. The procedure can also be done robotically with equally good results; however, a perception persists that this is a more expensive, less efficient method. Sydney Adventist Hospital has several of Sydney’s leading robotic general surgeons who perform inguinal hernia surgery both robotically and laparoscopically, and has recently launched a Quality Improvement Project aimed at testing this perception.
There are various groups of hernia patients that may be suitable for a robotic surgery approach. Your doctor will discuss with you the best treatment option for you based on your circumstances. Both laparoscopic and robotic surgery have been performed at the San for many years. Should robotic-assisted surgery be the best clinical decision for you, we would appreciate your approval to include data collected as part of your surgical intervention in this Quality Improvement Project.
Begin your hernia repair journey
1. Speak to your GP
2. Choose a San doctor
3. Make an appointment
What is robotic hernia surgery?
Hernia surgery can be performed via a number of approaches: open incision, laparoscopic (keyhole), and robot-assisted surgery. A robotic surgical system has mechanical arms with surgical instruments and cameras attached, and the surgeon controls these via a computer console at the operating table. Robot-assisted surgery can provide greater precision and control of surgical instruments. It also provides three-dimensional, 10-fold magnification which enhances the surgeon’s view of the surgical area. With a robotic approach, patients can generally expect less pain, fewer complications, shorter stay in hospital, and a quicker return to work and normal activities.
Is robotic surgery experimental?
Robot-assisted surgery is not experimental, it has been widely used around the world for many years – including in Australia for 20 years. Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) has a well-established robotic surgical centre, with a number of surgeons very experienced in robotic surgery, including the six surgeons participating in this project.
What is the purpose of this project?
Laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery are both considered very good minimally-invasive ways of doing hernia surgery. There has been a perception that robotic surgery is too expensive, however to date there is a lack of data to test this perception. The purpose of this Quality Improvement Project is to see whether robot-assisted hernia surgery can be done both efficiently and economically.
I need hernia repair surgery. How can I find out if it can be done robotically?
Discuss this with your GP and your surgeon. Not every patient is suitable for robotic surgery. Every patient will be carefully assessed, and your hernia surgery will be done via the most appropriate approach for your individual needs.
If I do have robotic surgery, do I have to take part in this project?
You are completely free to choose to take part in this project or not. Discuss this with your GP and your surgeon. Your surgeon will carefully assess your own individual situation and discuss options with you. Your hernia surgery will be done via the most appropriate approach according to your particular needs. If robotic surgery is the most clinically appropriate approach for you, we ask that you consider approving the inclusion of data routinely collected as part of your surgical intervention in this Quality Improvement Project.
Is my type of hernia suitable to allow my inclusion in this project?
For the purpose of this project, there are three groups of hernia patients that may be suitable for inclusion:
- Patients who have had no prior lower abdominal surgery, previous repair, recurrence or pelvic radiotherapy
- Patients who have had previous inguinal hernia repair with recurrence
- Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery and have complex or large incisional hernias that require component separation/abdominal wall reconstruction.
Your doctor will discuss this with you in further detail.
How long will this project be happening?
The robotic hernia quality improvement project commenced on late July 2023, and the aim is to analyse data from 200 patients during the project. The first complete review of the data will be done at three months, with interim results expected at six months and published data after 12 months.
Where is the project being conducted?
The project is only being conducted at Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San), in Wahroonga, NSW.
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.