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JSLS. 2003 Jan-Mar;7(1):7-14.

Telerobotic laparoscopic repair of incisional ventral hernias using intraperitoneal prosthetic mesh.

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Minimally Invasive & Telerobotic Surgery Institute, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601, USA.


Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair shortens the length of hospital stay and achieves low rates of hernia recurrence. The inherent difficulties of performing advanced laparoscopy operations, however, have limited the adoption of this technique by many surgeons. We hypothesized that the virtual operative field and hand-like instruments of a telerobotic surgical system could overcome these limitations. We present herein the first 2 reported cases of telerobotic laparoscopic ventral hernia repair with mesh. The operations were accomplished with the da Vinci telerobotic surgical system. The hernia defects were repaired with dual-sided, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) mesh. The mesh was secured in place with 8 sutures that were passed through the abdominal wall, and 5-mm surgical tacks were placed around the circumference of the mesh. The 2 operations were accomplished with total operative times of 120 and 135 minutes and total operating room times of 166 and 180 minutes, respectively. The patients were discharged home on postoperative days 1 and 4. The surgeon sat in an ergonomically comfortable position at a computer console that was remote from the patient. Immersion of the surgeon within the 3-dimensional virtual operative field expedited each stage of these procedures. The articulation of the wristed telerobotic instruments greatly facilitated reaching the anterior abdominal cavity near the abdominal wall. This report indicates that telerobotic laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is feasible and suggests that telepresence technology facilitates this procedure.

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