Laparoscopic versus robotic inguinal hernia repair: 1- and 2-year outcomes from the RIVAL trial

Benjamin T. Miller, Ajita S. Prabhu, Clayton C. Petro, Lucas R.A. Beffa, Alfredo M. Carbonell, William Hope, Jeremy Warren, Rana M. Higgins, Brian Jacob, Jeffrey Blatnik, David M. Krpata, Chao Tu, Adele Costanzo, Michael J. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Robotic inguinal hernia repair is growing in popularity among general surgeons despite little high-quality evidence supporting short- or long-term advantages over traditional laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. The original RIVAL trial showed increased operative time, cost, and surgeon frustration for the robotic approach without advantages over laparoscopy. Here we report the 1- and 2-year outcomes of the trial. Methods: This is a multi-center, patient-blinded, randomized clinical study conducted at six sites from 2016 to 2019, comparing laparoscopic versus robotic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernia repair with follow-up at 1 and 2 years. Outcomes include pain (visual analog scale), neuropathic pain (Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs pain scale), wound morbidity, composite hernia recurrence (patient-reported and clinical exam), health-related quality of life (36-item short-form health survey), and physical activity (physical activity assessment tool). Results: Early trial participation included 102 patients; 83 (81%) completed 1-year follow-up (45 laparoscopic vs. 38 robotic) and 77 (75%) completed 2-year follow-up (43 laparoscopic vs. 34 robotic). At 1 and 2 years, pain was similar for both groups. No patients in either treatment arm experienced neuropathic pain. Health-related quality of life and physical activity were similar for both groups at 1 and 2 years. No long-term wound morbidity was seen for either repair type. At 2 years, there was no difference in hernia recurrence (1 laparoscopic vs. 1 robotic; P = 1.0). Conclusions: Laparoscopic and robotic inguinal hernia repairs have similar long-term outcomes when performed by surgeons with experience in minimally invasive inguinal hernia repairs. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-728
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Robotic inguinal hernia repair


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