Robots Simplify Hernia Repair Surgery, Cut Down On Recovery Time

November 10, 2017 GMT

A hernia can linger inside the body for years, even decades unnoticed. With the help of robots, doctors can reduce pain and recovery time to repair them. Commonwealth Health is holding a free hernia screening from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s convention center in Plains Twp. Physicians will explain risk factors, symptoms and treatment. A surgery robot will be on display, and doctors and medical staff will offer free screenings. The most common type of hernia, the inguinal hernia, affects mostly men, said Dr. James Roche, a surgeon with specialty group Delta Medix who is on the medical staffs at Commonwealth hospitals Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital of Scranton. “For the most part, if they’re treated earlier, they’re much more easy to fix,” he said. There are other types of hernias, and both men and women are susceptible. Symptoms can include a bulge in the abdomen, nausea, pain and vomiting, but sometimes a hernia presents no symptoms at all. A hernia occurs when, after continued strain from activities including coughing, heavy lifting or sneezing, tissue pushes through weak patches in the abdomen. Only surgery can repair it, Roche said. There’s a drastic difference between traditional open surgery and robotic-assisted surgery, said Delta Medix Chief Executive Officer Margo Opsasnick, who noted that Roche completed more than 100 using robot technology. Robots, guided by the surgeon, need smaller incisions, which means less pain, less bleeding and a smaller scar, among other benefits. After traditional open surgery, a patient might be home from work recovering for six weeks. “When you have robotic-assisted surgery, you’re back in less than three weeks,” she said. Contact the writer: joconnell@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9131; @jon_oc on Twitter. If you go What: Free hernia screening clinic When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday Where: Mohegan Sun Pocono convention center, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp. Reservations are preferred. Call 470-552-7496 for more information.