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Lowell Elliott's Robotic-assisted Hernia Repair Was a Hit

Lowell Elliott doesn’t let anything slow him down — certainly not a hernia.

At 85, Elliott, a retired mechanical engineer, stays active by maintaining his yard and house in Carrollton and serving as a property owner’s association officer in his neighborhood.

Lowell Elliot holding a baseball bat and gloveElliott says having robotic-assisted surgery for his hernia repair helped him make a speedy recovery and quickly return to his active lifestyle faster.

“I feel great,” Elliott said. “I am very satisfied with the procedure, and I couldn’t have asked for any better results.”

Elliott developed a hernia near a 10-inch scar he has on his abdomen from colon surgery more than a decade ago.

Known as an incisional hernia, this type of hernia sometimes develops after an abdominal surgery if the abdominal wall muscles don’t grow back together tightly enough. Tissue or parts of organs can push through the weakened muscles, creating a bulge.

Elliott went for a consultation with José Espinel, MD, a board-certified surgeon with Carrollton Surgical Group, to discuss surgery to repair the hernia.

When Dr. Espinel told him it would be a robotic-assisted surgery, Elliott said he was relieved. Elliott said his brother had a similar hernia surgery, but it wasn’t done robotically and it required a longer recovery.

“There is much less cutting and a lot less scarring with robotic surgery, so it makes for a much easier recovery,” Elliott said.

Dr. Espinel said robotic surgery is an effective — and much less invasive — way to repair hernias.

“The advantage of minimally invasive surgery is that we are operating with much smaller incisions,” said Dr. Espinel. “That means less blood loss, less discomfort for the patient, a reduced risk of infection and a faster recovery. And with robotic-assisted surgery, we’re able to perform these procedures with a clearer view and even greater precision, which only enhances those benefits for the patient.”

Elliott said Dr. Espinel explained the surgery to him in detail so he understood exactly what would happen.

“Being a mechanical engineer, I question everything and wonder how things work,” Elliott said. “It’s an amazing procedure when you think about it.”

Elliott felt confident going into surgery that he was in good hands and was getting the best possible option for his hernia repair surgery.

“Robotic surgery is the way of the future, and it’s just the best option for patients,” Elliott said.

In addition to repairing the hernia, Dr. Espinel used a piece of surgical mesh to reinforce the entire scar from his prior colon surgery. This would help prevent Elliott from getting another incisional hernia.

“I was sore for a few weeks but he told me to expect that,” Elliott said. “After that, I felt great and was able to return to my regular activities.”

Elliott and his wife, Dean, have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

A sports enthusiast, Elliott played catcher on his high school baseball team and on teams in the Army during his years serving in France. He is a University of Florida alumnus, occasionally finding himself fighting for his life in the “land of the Bulldog.”

“The key to longevity is activity — both physically and mentally,” he said.

Click the links to learn more about minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery at Tanner and watch videos on robotic-assisted surgery. To make an appointment with a surgeon at Carrollton Surgical Group, call 678.506.7835.

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