Complex Robotic Hernia Repair


What is a complex hernia repair?

Dr. Fernandez specializes in the repair of complex hernias.

A complex hernia repair is also known as an abdominal wall reconstruction.  A complex hernia includes large defects in the abdominal wall which can be caused by previous operations.  The defects may also be present at birth and can grow larger as a patient ages and becomes more obese.

Many patients undergo multiple attempts at repair of these hernias and may have multiple recurrences. These hernias can be very complex due to the scarring and the need to remove previously placed mesh.  Occasionally, these hernias may be associated with obstruction due to incarcerated intestine and sometimes these hernias can be associated with infection and possible fistulas.

If you've been told that your hernia cannot be repaired, contact our office for a consultation.  Dr. Fernandez specializes in robotic abdominal wall reconstruction and may be able to help you.  He is the only surgeon in Huntsville who performs complex hernia repair robotically.

Dennis at Robot Console

More Information

What kind of symptoms are expected from a large complex hernia?

Patients may experience pain, nausea and vomiting. If there is an obstruction from their intestines being incarcerated, many patients may also have a bulge which can be unsightly and irregular.

What can I expect after surgery? What about my recovery period?

Abdominal wall reconstruction is more complex than the average robotic ventral/incisional hernia repair. It involves the use of “muscle flaps” to cover the hernia defect. During the surgery, the “six pack abs” are used to reinforce the defect in addition to mesh placement which gives it more integrity.

Due to the greater extent of dissection during this procedure, a drain is left to capture any fluid which builds up in the repair area. The drain is left in for approximately two weeks. The level of discomfort is very similar to a traditional ventral/incisional hernia repair.

Abdominal wall reconstruction requires a two to three-week recovery period. As the patient experiences less discomfort, activity may gradually be increased. Patients must wear an abdominal binder to give support to the complex hernia repair. The abdominal binder provides compression and diminishes the amount of fluid that builds underneath the muscle flaps.

What can I eat after my surgery? Is there a special diet?

No special diet is required.

Are there are any post-surgical restrictions?

Patients are restricted to light activities and should not lift anything greater than 20 pounds for approximately six weeks following surgery.