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Surg Endosc. 2018 Jan;32(1):229-235. doi: 10.1007/s00464-017-5665-z. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Early outcomes of robotic-assisted inguinal hernia repair in obese patients: a multi-institutional, retrospective study.

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Department of Surgery, Providence-Providence Park Hospital, 26850, Providence Pkwy, Suite 460, Novi, MI, 48374, USA.
Hillcrest Medical Center and Oklahoma Physician Group, Tulsa, OK, USA.
ValleyCare Health System of Ohio, Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren, OH, USA.
Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY, USA.
Department of General and Bariatric Surgery, Baptist Health South Florida, Miami, FL, USA.
Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox, IL, USA.



Minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair (IHR) in general and particularly in obese patients has not been widely adopted, potentially due to the perceived technical challenges and the well-documented learning curve associated with laparoscopic repair. Outcomes in robotic-assisted IHR in obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) patients have not been described and warrant study.


Seven surgeons conducted a multicenter retrospective chart review of their early robotic-assisted IHR (RHR) cases and compared them with their open IHR (OHR) cases. Demographics, operative characteristics, and perioperative morbidity were compared for unadjusted and propensity-matched populations.


651 robotic-assisted cases and 593 open cases were collected. The outcomes of 148 RHRs to 113 OHRs in obese patients were compared. For obese populations-whether unadjusted (robotic-assisted, n = 148; open, n = 113) or matched (1:1) (robotic-assisted, n = 95; open, n = 93)-the robotic-assisted and open cohorts were comparable in terms of demographics and baseline characteristics. Significantly higher percentages of OHR patients experienced postoperative complications post-discharge (unadjusted: 11.5% vs. 2.7%, p = 0.005; and matched: 10.8% vs. 3.2%, p = 0.047). More concomitant procedures and bilateral repairs were conducted in obese RHR patients than in obese OHR patients (unadjusted 29.7% vs. 16.8%, p = 0.019; and unadjusted 35.1% vs. 11.5%, p < 0.0001-respectively). Prior laparoscopic IHR experience did not affect 30-day outcomes.


Obese patients who undergo RHR have a lower rate of postoperative complications compared to obese patients who undergo OHR. Previous laparoscopic IHR experience, more bilateral repairs, and more concomitant procedures were not associated with increased complications in RHR patients. These outcomes may facilitate increased adoption of minimally invasive IHR approaches in the obese population.


Da Vinci; Inguinal hernia repair; Laparoscopic; Minimally invasive surgery; Obesity; Robotic-assisted

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