NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A four-armed robot at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London is changing how doctors perform hernia surgeries.
Depending on what tools are attached to those arms, the Da Vinci Robot is able to perform multiple types of extremely precise hernia surgeries.
It’s possible because the robot’s arms are able to hold instruments at more angles than a human wrist can, making the technology a valuable tool.
“Imagine being able to hang a picture, if you had someone to hold a picture with your level,” said Dr. Jonathan Blancaflor, an acute care surgeon at the hospital. “Hold that position, and then use your other two arms to put the nail in.”
A hernia is a weakness or hole in the abdominal wall. Often, it can be felt with a bump that comes and goes.
Whether it is painful or not, doctors say it is important not to ignore it.
“There’s a piece of intestine that gets tuck in a hernia, and it twists, and the blood supply gets cut off that piece of intestine can actually die and that equates to emergency surgery for a patient,” Blancaflor said. “If you’re having symptoms of hernia, it’s really important to get it checked. That’s why we’re having this screening.”
The hospital is holding an event Sunday to allow the public to operate the robot during demonstrations. Staff hopes the event will ease patients’ concerns about future surgery.
The events will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Shoreline Medical Center in Guilford, Sunday at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and Oct. 22 at Bridgeport Hospital’s SurgEase Ambulatory Surgery Center. Free hernia screenings will also be held.
To register to attend, visit ynhhs.org/events and search “hernia.”