Robotic Hernia Repair…and more- Adoption of an Emerging Standard


“I was very anti-robotic. It was not something I was interested in,” Dr. M. Brian Harkins, General Surgeon and Chairman, Robotics sub-committee, Department of Surgery, Tomball Regional Hospital, Texas told the November 2017 meeting of the Robotic Surgeons Council of India (RSC) in Goa. “I can promise you- anything you’ve ever heard bad about robotic- I’ve said at least ten times!”

Dr. Harkins was invited International Faculty at the RSC, and was lecturing to over 200 robotic surgeons and Vattikuti Scholarship winners. He described his decision to give robotic surgery a “fair break” in 2013-2014, and his conversion to becoming one of the leading robotic surgeons. Harkins also described how the Medical Center was convinced to make the da Vinci Surgical System and OR available “24/7/365.” Tomball is a 400- bed facility in suburban Houston. Harkins told the audience that administrators credit this open availability as responsible for a 50% increase in robotic surgeons on staff, and led to the addition of a second unit and robotic OR (in addition, the hospital has a MAKO orthopedic robot and microsurgery robotic system).

Harkins shows his technique for ventral and inguinal hernia repair and his method of suturing wounds efficiently using the robot. We do not usually use the term “fun” to describe RSC lectures, but feel that his friendly, informative style of presenting to the audience definitely qualifies as fun. It is worth viewing by surgeons from all fields.

Lecture, with PowerPoints, photos and robotic surgery video, 26:19