Nearly 25% of men experience an inguinal hernia in their lifetime. The surgery to repair a hernia is so common that more than 800,000 of them are performed every year!

In the past, hernia repair surgery meant staying in the hospital and a long recovery time. Many people put off surgery either from fear or not having the time to recover.

With robotic hernia surgery, that doesn’t have to be the case. Robotic hernia surgery reduces blood loss, minimizes post-op pain, and has a quicker recovery time!

Knowing what to expect with your recovery gives you peace of mind before heading into surgery. So, keep reading to learn all about recovery after robotic hernia surgery!

Main Types of Hernias

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue squeezes through muscle or connective tissue. It’s caused by pressure in the abdomen from lifting heavy items, diarrhea/constipation, or coughing and sneezing.

There are five main types of hernias. They are…

  • Inguinal
  • Incisional
  • Femoral
  • Umbilical
  • Hiatal 

Someone with a hernia might have no symptoms, or they could have severe symptoms. Usually, a hernia causes a noticeable bulge. Severe symptoms include…

  • Shooting pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

In emergency situations, the hernia blocks organs and tissues from functioning as they should. They can also become infected.

The severity of the hernia dictates the type of surgery and action taken. In this article, we are referring to non-emergency surgery and recovery times.

What Is Robotic Hernia Surgery?

Robotic hernia surgery is one of the main treatment options for repairing a hernia. It involves small incisions and a tiny camera. It’s also minimally invasive!

While you’re under general anesthesia, the surgeon inflates your abdomen with carbon dioxide. This allows them to see everything better. The camera projects the inside view up onto a screen. The surgeon sits at a console and performs the surgery through it. The screen provides a three-dimensional view, and the console controls the surgical instruments.

Robotic hernia repair surgery leaves minimal scarring. It also shortens recovery time.The entire surgery itself only takes about forty minutes. Patients are in and out before they know it.

How Is It Different?

The old, standard surgery for hernia repair is open surgery. Instead of small incisions, a long cut is made above the hernia. It is also performed under anesthesia. However, in this case, the surgeon’s hands operate the surgical instruments. There isn’t a camera or a screen. The surgeon is looking directly at the body and hernia.

Another option is laparoscopic surgery. This is most similar to robotic surgery. Like robotic surgery, laparoscopy involves small incisions, a camera, and inflation. The only way it differs is in the use of the console. Surgeons operate the tools with their own hands in laparoscopic surgery. The surgery controls robotic arms with the console when performing robotic surgery.

Another beneficial difference between robotic and laparoscopic surgery is the point of view. Robotic gives a three-dimensional view. Laparoscopic provides only two-dimensional.

How Long Is the Recovery Time?

Robotic surgery for a hernia is minimally invasive, which means recovery is easier than open surgery. Usually, patients return home the same day as the surgery.

The first few days after surgery, patients need to take it easy. Though they shouldn’t return to work for around three days, daily tasks performed around the house are fine almost immediately.

Patients should still be able to walk to the bathroom or make a snack in the kitchen. As long as their pain allows, these household activities are fine post-op days one to three.

Many people return to work around day four of their recovery period. They must restrain from lifting any more than twenty pounds.

However, patients may begin light exercising around this time. Short walks, stretching, and other slower forms of exercise are all acceptable four days to a week after surgery.

Week two of recovery has fewer limitations with activities. It’s okay at this stage to bike, jog, and return to yoga class.

It’s still advised not to lift anything over 20 pounds. Until a complete four weeks have passed, the patient shouldn’t lift boxes, weights, or other items over 20 pounds.

Is It Painful?

It’s not as painful as you’d expect following surgery! That’s a huge benefit in choosing robotic surgery.

Open surgery requires the surgeon to make large incisions through muscle and tissue. That often comes with a longer recovery time and a more painful recovery.

Robotic surgery is performed through one to three small incisions. This makes everything about the recovery less severe. Pain is managed with over-the-counter medications.

You won’t feel anything during any surgery. Your surgeon makes sure of that.

During the first three days, it’s not uncommon to experience mild or moderate pain. Most pain subsides after the first week and over-the-counter medicine does the job.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Surgery for a hernia isn’t what it once was. People no longer have to be afraid of a long stay in the hospital and a long, painful recovery. Robotic hernia surgery isn’t as invasive as open surgery. The instruments give surgeons even more precision.

It’s important not to put off hernia surgery. You run the risk of other complications or having emergency surgery. It’s much more beneficial for you to have surgery planned out and prepared. A rush to emergency surgery has a very different outcome and recovery time.

If you’re struggling with a hernia and need help, please reach out to us. Fill out the new patient forms under our patient resources and get started today!