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Robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair demonstrates favorable short-term outcomes compared to laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair

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We postulated that the use of robotics may improve outcomes in hiatal hernia repair.


We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected Society of Thoracic Surgery database at a single institution of patients who underwent elective hiatal hernia repair from 2012 to 2017 using either laparoscopy or the da Vinci Xi robot. We compared patient characteristics and outcomes and then performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression modeling to determine the factors associated with postoperative morbidity.


There were 293 consecutive patients who underwent elective hiatal hernia repair using either a laparoscopic (n = 151) or a robotic (n = 142) technique. There were no significant differences in age, gender, BMI, smoking history, presence of comorbidity, or hiatal hernia type. Seventy percent of the cases were a repair of either type III or type IV hiatal hernia. There were significantly higher ASA III and IV (7.9% vs. 4.2%, P = 0.03), higher Toupet fundoplication (83.4% vs. 44.4%, P < 0.001), and lower redo-repair (7.3% vs. 20.4%, P = 0.001) in the laparoscopic group compared to the robotic group. The hospital length of stay was significantly shorter (1.3 ± 1.8 vs. 1.8 ± 1.5 days, P = 0.003) and there were significantly lower rates of complications (6.3 vs. 19.2%, P = 0.001) after robotic compared to laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair. There was no difference in readmission rate and mortality. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that older age and laparoscopic technique were associated with higher complications after surgery.


The use of the Da Vinci Xi robot in our institution was associated with improved outcomes compared to laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair despite a higher incidence of re-operative cases in the robotic group. Thus, short-term outcomes of Da Vinci Xi robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair are not inferior to laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair. Further studies are needed to determine if Da Vinci Xi robot provides superior short-term and long-term outcome in treatment of symptomatic hiatal hernia.

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Correspondence to Min P. Kim.

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Dr. Chan reports financial activities outside the submitted work from Olympus, Boston Scientific, Ethicon, and Veran. Dr. Kim reports financial activities outside the submitted work from Olympus, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Veran, and Intuitive Surgical. Drs. Soliman, Nguyen, Chihara, Meisenbach, and Graviss have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Soliman, B.G., Nguyen, D.T., Chan, E.Y. et al. Robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair demonstrates favorable short-term outcomes compared to laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair. Surg Endosc 34, 2495–2502 (2020).

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