The Robotic Hernia Repair Center at St. Petersburg General Hospital combines a comprehensive approach for the treatment of hernias-- the skill of the physician with the latest technology and the finest healthcare delivery, to provide the best solution and experience for you.

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a weak place in the abdominal wall. Organs, intestines or other tissues poke out through this weak place and create an unsightly bulge. A hernia can develop over the course of years or seemingly overnight. Sometimes the blood supply of the protruding flesh can get cut off and emergency surgery is necessary to ensure that the inside tissue doesn’t die as it expands out though the weakness in the abdominal wall.

There are several different types of hernia:

  1. Epigastric - An Epigastric hernia occurs midway between the belly button and the chest.
  2. Umbilical - An Umbilical hernia occurs through the belly button.
  3. Incisional - An incisional hernia occurs newer scar tissue from a previous abdominal surgery.
  4. Spigelian - A Spigelian hernia occurs between the muscles of the abdominal wall and may not show a bulge.
  5. Inguinal - An Inguinal hernia is the most common type and occurs in the groin area. More than 1 in 4 men will have this type of hernia in their lifetime.
  6. Femoral - A Femoral hernia occurs in the low groin and is more common in women.

Is there pain?

There can be pain, especially when coughing or straining.

Does a hernia need to be corrected with surgery?

You may be able to ease symptoms for a while with lifestyle changes. However, surgery is the only way to restore function. The objective is to put all the tissue back inside where it belongs and permanently repair the weak place in the abdominal wall. Your physician will determine the right type of surgery for you, depending on the size of your hernia, the placement of the hernia on your abdomen, the number of times you have had one or other hernias as well as your general health.

Your physician will determine which type of surgical procedure is right for you. We offer Robotic-assisted, Laparoscopic and Open. At the Hernia Repair Center, our physicians are well versed in all three types.

Open: An incision is made in your abdomen which must be as large as the surgeon’s hands and instruments to fit inside your body and reach the repair site.

Laparoscopic: Small incisions are used with long, thin instruments and the aid of a camera called a laparoscope, a long fiber optic cable system which allows the physician to view the area on a video screen during surgery.

Robotic-assisted: The physician sits at a digital console where he can see the inside of your body in great detail-- 3Dimensional, HD vision with 10x magnification, a high resolution image and a panoramic view of the surgical field. The physician sits at a console and has 100% control, using tiny instruments that move exactly as his/her actions. The physician does their work inside the body, reaching the tissues from many angles to repair the hernia with precision. The physician now has much more agility and dexterity with these tiny advanced instruments than with the human hand. Robotic-assisted surgery also allows for single-site surgery, meaning only one incision through your belly button. Ask your physician if you are a candidate for single-site.