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24.09.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2019

Journal of Robotic Surgery 3/2019

Robotic retro-rectus repair of parastomal hernias

Journal of Robotic Surgery > Ausgabe 3/2019
Victor Maciel, Wilmer Mata, Gabriel Arevalo, Marianna Zeichen, Timothy Glass



To present our technique of robotic retrorectus parastomal hernia repair.


Parastomal hernias represent a significant problem with high recurrence and long-term complications. An estimated of 120,000 new stomas are created per year with a prevalence of up to 800,000 patients in the U.S. 40–60% of these ostomies will never be reversed. Parastomal hernias cause skin breakdown and make adherence of ostomy appliances difficult, creating the need for frequent bag exchanges. They can also cause pain, bowel obstruction and bowel incarceration or strangulation. All of these factors affect quality of life and represent a significant burden to our health care system. There is no definitive gold-standard technique to repair parastomal hernias. The use of prosthesis decreases the recurrence rates, yet using prosthetic material can result in long-term complications. Surgeons have developed techniques of pre-peritoneal mesh placement to provide long-lasting repairs and at the same time prevent complications associated with the mesh. We believe that a robotic retro-rectus approach provides a secure repair and avoids leaving prosthetic material in the abdominal cavity at the same time.


A three-arm technique is used, inserting ports opposite to the target anatomy. Hernia contents are reduced protecting the ostomy loop and mesentery. The contralateral retro-rectus space is entered and this space is developed extensively across the midline and around the ostomy. The hernia defect is approximated. Concomitant ventral hernias are also repaired. A polypropylene mesh with a keyhole is used and wide coverage is ensured in all directions. The leaflets of the mesh are stitched together and the mesh is sutured to the abdominal wall. Finally, the retro-rectus space is closed.


We have performed this technique in two patients safely and at 1-year follow-up there were no recurrences in either. On conclusion, this is a novel minimally invasive technique to repair parastomal hernias that provides wide coverage of the defect and avoids leaving mesh intraperitoneally.

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