Reducing Length of Stay Using a Robotic-assisted Approach for Retromuscular Ventral Hernia Repair: A Comparative Analysis From the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to compare length of stay (LOS) after robotic-assisted and open retromuscular ventral hernia repair (RVHR).

Background:

RVHR has traditionally been performed by open techniques. Robotic-assisted surgery enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive RVHR, but with unknown benefit. Using real-world evidence, this study compared LOS after open (o-RVHR) and robotic-assisted (r-RVHR) approach.

Methods:

Multi-institutional data from patients undergoing elective RVHR in the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative between 2013 and 2016 were analyzed. Propensity score matching was used to compare median LOS between o-RVHR and r-RVHR groups. This work was supported by an unrestricted grant from Intuitive Surgical, and all clinical authors have declared direct or indirect relationships with Intuitive Surgical.

Results:

In all, 333 patients met inclusion criteria for a 2:1 match performed on 111 r-RVHR patients using propensity scores, with 222 o-RVHR patients having similar characteristics as the robotic-assisted group. Median LOS [interquartile range (IQR)] was significantly decreased for r-RVHR patients [2 days (IQR 2)] compared with o-RVHR patients [3 days (IQR 3), P < 0.001]. No differences in 30-day readmissions or surgical site infections were observed. Higher surgical site occurrences were noted with r-RVHR, consisting mostly of seromas not requiring intervention.

Conclusions:

Using real-world evidence, a robotic-assisted approach to RVHR offers the clinical benefit of reduced postoperative LOS. Ongoing monitoring of this technique should be employed through continuous quality improvement to determine the long-term effect on hernia recurrence, complications, patient satisfaction, and overall cost.

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