Robotic Inguinal Hernia

What is an inguinal hernia?

  • A hernia occurs when the inside layers of the abdominal muscle have weakened, resulting in a bulge or tear. In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon-like sac. This can allow a loop of intestine or abdominal tissue to push into the sac. The hernia can cause severe pain and other potentially serious problems that could require emergency surgery.
  • Inguinal hernias account for 80% of abdominal wall hernias.
  • Both men and women can get an inguinal hernia but men are 7 times more likely to develop this type of hernia.
  • You may be born with an inguinal hernia (congenital) or develop one over time.
  • If you develop an inguinal hernia on one side, you have about a 15% chance of developing an inguinal hernia on the other side some time in your lifetime.
  • A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself.
  • Complications of inguinal hernias such as incarceration, obstruction and strangulation do occur but at a very low rate.
  • The inguinal hernias occur in the groin.
  • It is usually easy to recognize an inguinal hernia. You may notice a bulge under the skin in the groin. You may feel pain when you lift heavy objects, cough, strain during urination or bowel movements, or during prolonged standing or sitting.
  • The pain may be sharp and immediate or a dull ache that gets worse toward the end of the day.
  • Severe, continuous pain, redness, and tenderness are signs that the inguinal hernia may be entrapped or strangulated. These symptoms are cause for concern and immediate contact of your physician or surgeon.

The wall of the abdomen has natural areas of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these or other areas due to heavy strain on the abdominal wall, aging, injury, an old incision or a weakness present from birth. Anyone can develop an inguinal hernia at any age. Most inguinal hernias in children are congenital. In adults, a natural weakness or strain from heavy lifting, persistent coughing, straining with bowel movements or urination can cause the abdominal wall to weaken or separate. In the groin, there is a natural weakness at the site that the spermatic cord (in men) and the round ligament (in women) pass through the muscle layers. Smoking is associated with a higher incidence of inguinal hernia formation.

  • Minimally invasive Da Vinci® method uses wristed instruments that bend and rotate farther than a human hand allowing your surgeon to operate with enhanced precision and control
  • The robotic procedure allows for a shorter hospital stay, lower rate of pain, and less visible scarring than the open method
  • Following the operation, you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be monitored for 1-2 hours until you are fully awake.
  • Once you are awake and able to walk, you will be sent home.
  • With any hernia operation, you can expect some soreness mostly during the first 24 to 72 hours.
  • You are encouraged to be up and about the day after surgery.
  • You will probably be able to get back to your normal activities within a short amount of time.
  • Call and schedule a follow-up appointment within two weeks after you operation.
  • Any operation may be associated with complications. The primary complications of any operation are bleeding and infection but these are uncommon with inguinal hernia repair.
  • There is a slight risk of injury to the urinary bladder, the intestines, blood vessels, nerves or the sperm tube going to the testicle.
  • Difficulty urinating after surgery is not unusual and rarely may require a temporary tube into the urinary bladder for as long as one week.
  • Any time a hernia is repaired it can come back. The long-term recurrence rate is less than one percent. Your surgeon will help you decide if the risks of inguinal hernia repair are less than the risks of leaving the condition untreated.
  • The pain patients may have experienced prior to surgery is usually resolved but some patients continue to have groin pain postoperatively.
  • Persistent fever over 101 degrees F (39 C)
  • Bleeding
  • Increasing abdominal or groin swelling
  • Pain that is not relieved by your medications
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to urinate
  • Chills
  • Persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • Purulent drainage (pus) from any incision
  • Redness surrounding any of your incisions that is worsening or getting bigger
  • You are unable to eat or drink liquids

University Surgeons Associates

1934 Alcoa Hwy, Building D, Suite #285 Knoxville, TN 37920 865-305-9620 Fax: 865-525-3460