Giant paraesophageal hernia accounts for 5% of all hiatal hernias, and it is commonly seen in elderly patients with comorbidities. Some series report complication rates up to 28%, recurrence rates between 10% and 25%, and a mortality rate close to 2%. Recently, the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) has shown equivocal benefits when used for elective surgeries, whereas for complex procedures, the benefits appear to be clearer. The purpose of this study is to present our preliminary experience in robotic giant paraesophageal hernia repair.


We retrospectively collected data from patients who had a diagnosis of giant paraesophageal hernia and underwent a paraesophageal hernia repair with the da Vinci Surgical System.


Nineteen patients (12 women [63.1%]) underwent surgery for giant paraesophageal hernia at our center. The mean age was 70.4 ± 13.9 years (range, 40-97 years). The mean American Society of Anesthesiologists score was 2.15. The mean surgical time and hospital length of stay were 184.5 ± 96.2 minutes (range, 96-395 minutes) and 4.3 days (range, 2-22 days), respectively. Nissen fundoplications were performed in 3 cases (15.7%), and 16 patients (84.2%) had mesh placed. Six patients (31.5%) presented with gastric volvulus, and 2 patients had other herniated viscera (colon and duodenum). There were 2 surgery-related complications (10.5%) (1 dysphagia that required dilatation and 1 pleural injury) and 1 conversion to open repair (partial gastric resection). No recurrences or deaths were observed in this series.


In our experience robotic giant paraesophageal hernia repair is not different from the laparoscopic approach in terms of complications and mortality rate, but it may be associated with lower recurrence rates. However, larger series with longer follow-up are necessary to further substantiate our results.

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Copyright © 2013 by JSLS, Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/), which permits for noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not altered in any way.

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