Health Beat - Winter 2017 - 9

"I could feel a little tenderness at the
site of the surgery if I touched it, but
other than that I felt nothing," Abbott
says. By Sunday, even the surgical
site tenderness had subsided. So, on
Monday, he decided to go back to his
job as a service technician at Callabresi
Heating & Cooling.
"They said you have to have a doctor's note to return to work, so I went
to see Dr. Klaassen," Abbott says. "I
showed him I could do jumping jacks
and told him I had no pain, and he
agreed to write me a note that said I
could return to work."
Quicker recoveries and increased
surgical precision are the main benefits
of da Vinci robotic surgery. It's also the
reason more patients are opting for
robotic surgery.

Don Abbott, of Salina, went back to work just three days after a da Vinci hernia
repair and said he experienced no pain from the surgery.

Hernias in
Many Forms
Hernia is the general
term for a bulge or protrusion of body tissue
or an organ through
the structure that normally contains it. Many
hernias occur on the
surface of the abdomen
or groin area. They
often are recognized as
a lump or swelling.
Hernias that cause
discomfort or pain,
do not push back into
the abdomen with pressure or appear to be getting
larger require surgical repair. Some
hernias cause no symptoms and can be
monitored for changes before surgery
is required.
A form of abdominal hernia that can't
be seen is a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernias occur when a part of the stomach
pushes through a small opening in the
diaphragm called the hiatus. Hiatal hernias can allow food and acid to back up
into the esophagus, causing heartburn
and difficulty swallowing. Hiatal hernias
also may require surgical repair if other
treatments are ineffective.

Surgical Options
Traditional open surgeries using large

Jake Breeding, M.D.

Stacy Jones, M.D.

Justin Klaassen, D.O.

Drs. Breeding, Jones and Klaassen at Salina Regional Surgical Associates
all perform robot-assisted surgery using da Vinci technology.

incisions have generally been replaced
with minimally invasive techniques.
Laparoscopic hernia repair uses a
series of small incisions to place instruments in the abdomen to make the
repair. Mesh is often used to reinforce
the defect in the belly wall where the
hernia is located.
While laparoscopic techniques
offer good results, the technology has
some limitations.
"I like to explain it as operating with
chopsticks," says Stacy Jones, M.D.,
a general surgeon at Salina Regional
Surgical Associates. "The scope gives
you a good 2-D visualization inside
the abdomen, but the instruments are
limited in the types of movements you
can make."
That's where the da Vinci difference
becomes most pronounced. The robot
also requires a series of small incisions
to place a camera and instruments into

the abdomen for surgery, which are
then connected to the arms of a
robot. Once connected, the surgeon
sits at a computer console to manipulate the instruments and perform the
surgery while a highly magnified 3-D
camera gives a clear look at the
surgical field. The instruments can
move like a human wrist, making them
capable of precise positioning and
suturing during surgery.
"We're using the da Vinci technology for more and more general surgeries, including more complex cases like
colorectal surgery where you might
operate in more than one quadrant of
the abdomen," Jones says. "We have a
lot of evidence that proves robotic surgery has advantages in many instances."
Abbott is one of many patients who is
happy to confirm the advantages.
"I'd recommend it in a heartbeat,"
Abbott says. 1

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