Favorable peri-operative outcomes observed in paraesophageal hernia repair with robotic approach

William D. Gerull, Daniel Cho, Saeed Arefanian, Bradley S. Kushner, Michael M. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The robotic surgical approach offers enhanced visualization, dexterity and reach, which may facilitate the more technically demanding portions of paraesophageal hernia (PEH) repair such as hiatal reconstruction and mediastinal dissection. We sought to compare the peri-operative clinical outcomes of the laparoscopic vs. robotic approach to PEH repair. Methods: A prospective, IRB-approved database was maintained for all robotic PEH repairs performed by a single surgeon at a tertiary academic hospital from 2009 to 2019. A retrospective review of laparoscopic PEH over this same time period was used as a comparison group. Outcome measures included: operative time, conversion to open, need for an esophageal lengthening procedure, operative equipment costs and length of stay (LOS). Results: 1854 patients underwent PEH repair during this time period (830 robotic; 1024 laparoscopic). Demographics of both groups were similar, including BMI and PEH type, although a higher proportion of robotic cases were re-operative PEH repairs (32.5% vs 24.0%; p < 0.001). Patients who underwent a robotic PEH had a significant reduction in esophageal lengthening procedures performed (0.1% vs. 11.0%; p < 0.001), conversion to open (0% vs. 7.0%; p < 0.001), and LOS (1.8 days vs. 3.1 days; p < 0.001). Intra-operative equipment costs were similar. Conclusions: In one of the largest robotic PEH case series reported to date, there were significant improvements in peri-operative outcomes in patients undergoing a robotic-assisted approach. Although a greater number of patients in the robotic group were redo PEH repairs, when compared to the laparoscopic group, there were no conversions to open and significantly fewer esophageal lengthening procedures, both of which carry significant morbidity. The similar intra-operative costs were likely balanced by the higher costs associated with stapling equipment and conversions in the laparoscopic group. Our findings show that the robotic PEH repair is safe and can result in improved peri-operative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3085-3089
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Paraesophageal hernia repair
  • Robotic surgery


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