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YNHH performs state’s first outpatient ambulatory center robotic hernia repair


The da Vinci Xi robot at Shoreline Medical Center was recently used to perform the state’s first outpatient ambulatory center robotic hernia repair.

A surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Shoreline Medical Center in Guilford recently performed the state’s first robotic hernia repair using the latest technology in an outpatient ambulatory setting. Andrew Duffy, MD, medical director of Yale New Haven’s Hernia Program, used the da Vinci Xi to perform the successful procedure in just under two hours on June 26.

“The da Vinci Xi robot has given our Digestive Health team and the patients we serve new opportunities for advanced hernia repair,” Dr. Duffy said. “Having this technology at Shoreline Medical Center allows us to perform certain types of operations and procedures that we would normally do in a regular hospital setting in a free-standing ambulatory surgery center.”

During robotic surgery, the surgeon handles surgical instruments from a console that is usually several feet from the patient, while viewing images of the inside of the abdomen on screens. The surgeon, who has complete control of the robot, makes small incisions in the abdomen, which can mean smaller scars and less pain for patients.

One of the biggest differences between robotic and traditional laparoscopic surgery, which also uses small incisions, is that robotic surgery provides three-dimensional images of the surgical area (vs. two-dimensional images for laparoscopic surgery).

“Dr. Duffy did a great job,” said patient Greg Onorato of Danbury. “I was up walking shortly after the procedure, and any pain I experienced was quite manageable. Once again, Yale New Haven Health has met my expectations for outstanding medical care.”

“Robotic surgery for hernia repair provides our patients a much faster, greatly improved recovery period,” said Dr. Duffy. “They’re going back to work sooner and back to recreational activities sooner with a lot less pain when compared to open surgery.”

The Hernia Program is part of Yale New Haven Health’s new Digestive Health service line, which launched in October 2019. The service line’s expert physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, dietitians and other specialists manage a range of gastrointestinal conditions, said Joseph Mendes, PA-C, executive director, Digestive Health clinical program development.

“We look forward to further expanding our reach with Digestive Health programs in Connecticut,” he said.