Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

2018 Salary Survey - Outpatient Surgery Magazine - January 2019

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 104 of 124

That's from the fun of playing with joysticks and my back's way of thanking me for doing surgery while seated on a stool. I've been fascinated with robotic hernias ever since I saw the video a few years ago of Arizona surgeon Conrad Ballecer, MD, using a robot to do a very complicated hernia repair. There he was, deftly transforming a no-doubt-about-it open procedure into a minimally invasive one, sparing his patient a major surgery, a few nights in the hospital, and a long and painful recovery. As a surgeon who special- izes in complex hernias, I wanted to be able to offer this to my patients, many of whom had prior hernia repairs and now suffer com- plications with chronic pain. For me, the robot really comes in handy (pun intended) for complex cases like transversus abdominis release for large or recurrent ventral incisional hernias. I can minimally invasively handle complicated pro- cedures that I previously performed open. That's because the robot's arms let you operate in the abdomen similarly to how you would oper- ate during an open procedure. Easy to master But here's the thing: The laparoscopic approach is sufficient for most hernias. Yes, for bread-and-butter hernia cases like inguinal hernia or abdominal wall hernias, you don't need an assist from the robot. In fact, a study of mine has been unable to show that the robot offers a benefit over laparoscopic options in most cases. We are cur- rently looking at outcomes from the robot when removing mesh from the groin: Are there fewer injuries and less post-op pain? The study results are pending. We'll release the hard data soon. Regardless, I enjoy using the robot. It's fun, almost like playing a video game. But in an interesting twist, robotics let many surgeons offer mini- J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 0 5

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