Robotic Inguinal Hernia Repair: A Large Health System's Experience With the First 300 Cases and Review of the Literature

Vernissia Tam, Devin E. Rogers, Amr Al-Abbas, Jeffrey Borrebach, Stefanie A. Dunn, Amer H. Zureikat, Herbert J. Zeh, Melissa E. Hogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Over the past 5 y, robotic surgery has expanded within general surgery, especially in regard to hernia repairs. We aimed to evaluate the outcomes of the early experience of over 300 consecutive robotic inguinal hernia repairs performed in an academic multihospital system. Methods: Consecutive robotic inguinal hernia repairs performed between December 2015 and June 2017 were analyzed. Retrospective chart review was performed, and hospital records were queried. Descriptive statistics were performed. A surgical learning curve case study is presented, breakdown of operative time is delineated, and review of the literature performed. Results: Over a period of 19 mo, 335 robotic inguinal hernia repairs were performed across seven hospitals by 18 surgeons. The mean patient age was 59 y (standard deviation [SD] 14), 93% were male, and the mean body mass index was 27 (SD 4.6). Bilateral hernia repairs were performed on 131 patients (39%). The mean operative time was 102 min (SD 38) and a resident or fellow trainee was present in the operating room for 119 cases (36%). Minor postoperative complications occurred in 54 patients (16%), including 14 with urinary retention (4.2%) and 13 with scrotal swelling (3.9%). The learning curve of the first adopted surgeon was 11-12 cases. Conclusions: In the largest case series of robotic inguinal hernia repairs to date reporting short-term outcomes, early experience in an academic multihospital system produced safe outcomes including no open conversions, reoperations, and one readmission. In addition, the learning curve is manageable showing improvement in operating time with experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Feasibility
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Robotic surgery
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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