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Healthy Living Blog

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Speeds Recovery, Reduces Pain

February 15, 2018 | Fisher-Titus Healthy Living Team


Nathan Maggard was on his Harley Davidson when he noticed something wasn’t right. Putting up the kickstand, he felt a tingling sensation that he knew wasn’t normal.

Nathan LQ square.pngA trip to his family doctor confirmed his suspicion was correct — Nathan had an inguinal hernia, where parts of the abdomen bulge through the lower abdominal wall.

Roughly 25 percent of males and two percent of females will develop an inguinal hernia in their lifetimes. Men are more likely to develop this type of hernia than women because the broad ligament of the uterus acts as a barrier that typically prevents a bulge from occurring.

Fortunately, inguinal hernias can be repaired. Sometimes they can be massaged back into place, but often surgery is needed. At Fisher-Titus, we are proud to offer robotic-assisted hernia repair surgery, which uses a da Vinci robot to assist the doctor in performing precise, complex surgical procedures.

Nathan knew he wanted to have his procedure at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, and in November 2017, it was scheduled with Dr. Eric Schmidt. Nathan had heard many good things about Dr. Schmidt and felt confident in Schmidt’s ability to repair his hernia with minimal downtime and pain.

Why Robotic-Assisted Surgery?

Dr. Schmidt discussed the options for surgery with Nathan, and together they decided on the robotic-assisted route. The preparation for the surgery was the same as for laparoscopic surgery, with preoperative testing and fasting beforehand. What Nathan truly noticed as a difference, however, was the recovery.

Using the robotic technique, the incisions made were much smaller than in the traditional procedure and didn’t require stitches. They were glued shut, which eliminated the need to have stitches removed later, which is sometimes painful, and at best uncomfortable. 

Just two days after the surgery, Nathan no longer felt the need to continue taking pain medication. Within five days, he was back to work. Nathan was diligent in following the post-op instructions, and within a week the incisions were well on their way to being fully healed in his stomach area. “I’d heard people say that the following mornings after the surgery, you’d feel pain when bending and twisting in the morning,” recalls Nathan. “It was a big benefit that my day started off pain-free basically the second day.” 

Why Choose Fisher-Titus?

Nathan spent 12 years driving an ambulance as an EMT paramedic, serving Huron county and neighboring counties. He was very well acquainted with Fisher-Titus when this incident occurred and was pleasantly surprised to learn of the advanced technology they were able to offer for his condition. Fisher-Titus is one of the few hospitals in the area offering this minimally invasive option for hernia repair surgery.

“If I had to do it over again, or had a family member who needed this procedure, I would highly recommend Fisher-Titus and Dr. Schmidt,” says Nathan. “I would advise them to get it done, and soon. Don’t wait, have it done right away, choose the robotic surgery, and you won’t regret it. Because the pain is the biggest thing, and the healing process and getting back to your normal life quicker make all the difference.”

If you believe you may have a hernia, it’s best to seek treatment immediately to prevent an obstruction in blood supply. Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled physicians to get checked out and determine the best course of action for you today.

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