SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Dr. Bryan Sandler, an expert in minimally invasive surgery at the University of California San Diego Health System, has performed the world’s first single-incision totally extraperitoneal (TEP) hernia repair using the SPIDER Surgical System.

Using the SPIDER System, Sandler made just one incision located inside the patient’s belly button. A typical TEP hernia repair with traditional laparoscopic equipment usually requires two or three incisions made across the patient’s abdomen. At his two-week post-surgery check up, the patient reported a quick return to normal activity and minimal pain.

“The patient is doing great and is healing just fine – he’s very happy with how well the procedure went,” Sandler reported. “From my perspective, the hernia is well fixed on both sides and I certainly think this type of surgical platform is a model for treatment in the future.”

A hernia occurs when the inside of a patient’s abdominal wall weakens, allowing internal tissue and sometimes even organs to squeeze into the resulting “pocket,” causing pain and creating the potential for serious health problems. During surgery – the usual course of treatment for a hernia – the surgeon uses mesh lining, staples or stitches to reinforce the weakened abdominal wall and repair the damage in order to prevent a reoccurrence.

The repair approach Sandler took in this case – TEP – lets the surgeon place mesh within the pre-peritoneal space without entering the abdominal cavity or peritoneum. Some 600,000 patients undergo surgical treatment for hernias each year, according to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

“Having performed both open and laparoscopic hernia repairs, I have seen first-hand that fewer incisions results in less pain for patients as well as a faster return to normal activity,” Sandler said. “By eliminating two incisions you normally need to make during a laparoscopic TEP procedure, this approach should be more comfortable for patients.”

Fellowship trained in minimally invasive surgery, Sandler has specialized training in advanced hernia operations as well as the surgical treatment of obesity.

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