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Nissen method - Minimally invasive treatment for hernia repair

Patients who suffer from hiatal hernias can benefit from shorter hospital stays, less pain and faster recovery when physicians use the minimally invasive Nissen method for hernia repair. At Baptist Health Louisville, the procedure can be performed using traditional laparoscopic surgery or the robotic technology of the da Vinci Surgical System. Also known as Nissen fundoplication, the Nissen method is a technologically advanced alternative to traditional surgery in which the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the bottom of the esophagus to create a natural barrier and strengthen the valve.

Patients who have minimally invasive surgery to repair a hiatal hernia usually stay in the hospital only one day instead of four to five required for traditional surgery. Most patients return to normal activities in a week or two, compared with four to six weeks for traditional surgery. 

Advantages of minimally invasive surgery for hernia treatment include:

  • Reduced scarring
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Faster recovery time
  • Shorter hospital stay

Laparoscopic treatment for hiatal hernia

During laparoscopic Nissen treatment, surgeons make five tiny incisions in the abdomen and insert small tubes that allow them to slip a miniature video camera and surgical instruments through the incisions. The surgeon can view a magnified image of the surgical site on a video monitor while manipulating the small surgical tools to strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach and complete the surgery.

Hiatal hernia repair using the da Vinci Surgical System

A newer approach for hiatal hernia repair is the use of minimally invasive robotic surgery for Nissen fundoplication. The technologically advanced da Vinci Surgical System gives surgeons even greater precision and control while minimizing pain, scarring and recovery time.

To perform this procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen, then inserts a small video camera and miniature, specially designed instruments through ports into the surgical site. Seated at an ergonomically-designed console a few feet from the operating table, the surgeon remotely operates the instruments while viewing a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical area on a high-definition video monitor. Other members of the surgical team stand by the operating table to assist, closely monitoring the patient and the robot-controlled instruments.

For more information, or for a physician referral, call the Baptist Health Information Center at
(502) 897-8131.