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Robot-assisted laparoscopic mesh repair of incisional hernias with exclusive intracorporeal suturing: a pilot study

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Abstract

Background

The da Vinci robot laparoscopic incisional hernia repair with intracorporeal suturing may offer an alternative to transabdominal sutures and tackers.

Methods

From 2003 to 2005, 11 patients (median age, 71 years; median body mass index [BMI], 28) with small and medium-sized incisional hernias (median fascial defect, 19.6 cm2) were treated with the da Vinci robot system using intracorporeal mesh fixation with interrupted sutures. This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and report the morbidity with special reference to postoperative pain and long-term recurrence.

Results

The median operative time was 180 min. There was no conversion to open or standard laparoscopy and no postoperative mortality. The overall morbidity rate was 27%. One patient underwent reoperation on postoperative day 3 for peritonitis secondary to small bowel injury. The median visual analog pain score on postoperative day 1 was 3. Seven patients (63%) needed parenteral paracetamol until postoperative day 2. The median hospital stay was 3 days. During a median follow-up period of 25 months, no patient experienced recurrent hernia. One patient had a trocar-site herniation at 6 months. No patient experienced chronic suture site pain or discomfort.

Conclusion

This is the first report of robot-assisted laparoscopic incisional hernia with exclusive intracorporeal suturing for mesh fixation in humans. The findings show that this technique is feasible and may not be associated with chronic postoperative pain. Further evaluation is needed to assess the benefit to the patient, but this investigation may be the basis for a future, prospective, randomized study.

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Correspondence to C. Tayar.

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Tayar, C., Karoui, M., Cherqui, D. et al. Robot-assisted laparoscopic mesh repair of incisional hernias with exclusive intracorporeal suturing: a pilot study. Surg Endosc 21, 1786–1789 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-007-9247-3

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Keywords

  • Da Vinci Robot
  • Incisional hernia
  • Laparoscopy
  • Ventral hernia repair