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Robotic Surgery Helped Hernia Patient Return to the Ski Slopes


Michael had a career in portfolio management, recently scaling back his work to spend more time enjoying his favorite activities — tennis, skiing, working out, vacations and taking his labradoodle on frequent walks to name a few. 

When Michael suddenly felt a swollen lump in his abdomen after exercising, he knew it was possible he had a hernia. 

Signs of a hernia


Hernias can be common with frequent exercise and straining and worsen if left untreated. As a few days passed, the lump progressively hurt and grew, sidelining him from his daily activities. Michael knew he shouldn’t wait to receive care. 

Since Michael leads a very active lifestyle, he is no stranger to injuries and trying to play through them. He’s had knee and other injuries that he delayed seeking care for, which only made those injuries worse. Now, knowing he had a big ski trip coming up in a few months, he knew it was best to act quickly and see a doctor as soon as he could. 

With a recommendation from a neighbor, Michael called Park Avenue Medical Center in Trumbull to schedule an appointment with surgeon Andrew Kenler, MD, assistant clinical professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, for an evaluation. Being a member of Yale New Haven Health’s hernia program, Dr. Kenler’s patients have access to a large network of specialists and resources designed to provide them comprehensive care.

Robotic surgery for hernia repair

Dr. Kenler informed Michael he would need surgery to repair his hernia. Dr. Kenler knew it was important for Michael to have surgery and be cleared for his upcoming ski trip. He successfully repaired Michael’s hernia using the minimally invasive robotic surgical system da Vinci®.

“Robotic, inguinal hernia surgery leads to decreased post-op pain, smaller incisions, better wound healing and lower chances of the hernia coming back compared to open surgery,” said Dr. Kenler. 

Michael felt reassured through each step of the pre-and post-surgery process, noting that both Dr. Kenler and the office staff contacted him before the procedure to ensure he read the materials provided and to answer any questions. The convenience of having his procedure done at Park Avenue Medical Center was a bonus for Michael.

“It was just awesome to not have to go to the hospital and still receive such professional care. Everyone was wonderful from the moment I walked into the office,” he said.

He was able to go home the same day as his surgery and was pleased with his limited restrictions. “I was surprised when Dr. Kenler told me I could climb stairs and walk right away. The day after my surgery I took my dog on our typical twice daily walks and felt good.”

“Robotic hernia surgery gave Michael the ability to return to both normal and vigorous activities more quickly,” said Dr. Kenler. 

Michael is thrilled he didn’t put off seeking care for his hernia so he can resume his active lifestyle. Best of all, he is cleared to ski the California Sierra slopes just a month after surgery.