Minimally invasive surgery (which includes either laparoscopic or robotic surgery) has several advantages over doing what we call an open operation. So if we are specifically talking about hernia surgery, even today in 2017 the vast majority of people when they have an inguinal hernia repair, for instance, that's a hernia that is located in your groin - most people have the traditional open operation where you have an incision made over the area where your hernia is and a piece of mesh is placed in there to sort of bolster the abdominal wall and create the hernia repair. What we do is perform the same type of operation, but rather than doing it from the outside, we are performing it from the inside. So we use these small fine instruments and we go inside of the abdominal cavity and repair the hernia from the inside. We place a large piece of mesh on the inside to cover the hole. A hernia really is just any hole that is in a wall that is supposed to be holding contents in. The analogy for this repair is having a flat tire. The cheap way to fix a flat tire is to plug it from the outside, but the better way to fix a flat tire is to actually remove the tire and place a large patch on the inside to cover the hole. That is exactly what we are doing when we perform the laparoscopic or robotic hernia repair. Now this repair is better in that it results in smaller incisions. Therefore, you have smaller scars, you have less pain, quicker recovery time. It turns out that the complication rates are actually lower when you use this technique, as well. When it comes to how durable the repair is, doing it laparoscopically or robotically is equally as effective as doing it through the standard open technique.
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