Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 2152–2161 | Cite as

Morbidity and mortality in complex robot-assisted hiatal hernia surgery: 7-year experience in a high-volume center

  • Alexander C. Mertens
  • Rob C. Tolboom
  • Hana Zavrtanik
  • Werner A. Draaisma
  • Ivo A. M. J. BroedersEmail author



Published data regarding robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair are mainly limited to small cohorts. This study aimed to provide information on the morbidity and mortality of robot-assisted complex hiatal hernia repair and redo anti-reflux surgery in a high-volume center.

Materials and methods

All patients that underwent robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair, redo hiatal hernia repair, and anti-reflux surgery between 2011 and 2017 at the Meander Medical Centre, Amersfoort, the Netherlands were evaluated. Primary endpoints were 30-day morbidity and mortality. Major complications were defined as Clavien–Dindo ≥ IIIb.


Primary surgery 211 primary surgeries were performed by two surgeons. The median age was 67 (IQR 58–73) years. 84.4% of patients had a type III or IV hernia (10.9% Type I; 1.4% Type II; 45.5% Type III; 38.9% Type IV, 1.4% no herniation). In 3.3% of procedures, conversion was required. 17.1% of patients experienced complications. The incidence of major complications was 5.2%. Ten patients (4.7%) were readmitted within 30 days. Symptomatic early recurrence occurred in two patients (0.9%). The 30-day mortality was 0.9%. Redo surgery 151 redo procedures were performed by two surgeons. The median age was 60 (IQR 51–68) years. In 2.0%, the procedure was converted. The overall incidence of complications was 10.6%, while the incidence of major complications was 2.6%. Three patients (2.0%) were readmitted within 30 days. One patient (0.7%) experienced symptomatic early recurrence. No patients died in the 30-day postoperative period.


This study provides valuable information on robot-assisted laparoscopic repair of primary or recurrent hiatal hernia and anti-reflux surgery for both patient and surgeon. Serious morbidity of 5.2% in primary surgery and 2.6% in redo surgery, in this large series with a high surgeon caseload, has to be outweighed by the gain in quality of life or relief of serious medical implications of hiatal hernia when counseling for surgical intervention.


Hiatal hernia Reflux Anti-reflux Surgery Redo Robotics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Broeders reports personal fees from Johnson & Johnson and Intuitive Surgical. Drs. Mertens, Tolboom, Zavrtanik, and Dr. Draaisma have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander C. Mertens
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rob C. Tolboom
    • 1
  • Hana Zavrtanik
    • 1
    • 4
  • Werner A. Draaisma
    • 2
  • Ivo A. M. J. Broeders
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMeander Medical CenterAmersfoortThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryJeroen Bosch Hospital’s-HertogenboschThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Medical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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