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Healthy You

Precision Robotics Drive Speedy Recovery from Hernia Repair

Friday, December 17, 2021 11:22 AM

By Brian Justice

Jamaican-born Percival Davis is a 63-year-old Chicago taxi driver and a professional reggae musician. Comfortable juggling between his two jobs, Davis was understandably startled to discover an odd swelling in his groin area. Initially, it was not painful. Thinking it would just go away, Davis kept to his usual routine of driving and performing. But over the course of a year, the discomfort worsened, and so did his worry.

Percival Davis

U-turn for Help
“I said to myself, ‘I need to take care of this,’” Davis recalled. He paid a visit to his primary care physician who quickly referred him to Swedish Hospital General Surgeon Benjamin Johnson, MD, now part of NorthShore Medical Group.

Dr. Johnson diagnosed Davis with an inguinal hernia, a weakness in the abdominal wall that results in a protrusion that can become unsightly and uncomfortable—if not painful. Dr. Johnson recommended minimally invasive robotic surgery to repair it.

“Robotic surgery is becoming the optimal technique for treating inguinal hernias,” Dr. Johnson explained. “But it’s still hard to find physicians who use it routinely. All four of our surgeons at Swedish are almost exclusively repairing this type of hernia with robotics.”

The benefit for surgeons is a higher degree of precision. For patients, it means a faster healing and recovery, a lower risk of infection, reduced blood loss and less pain medication.

Hitting a High Note
“I was amazed!” exclaimed Davis. “From the very first day I could get up and walk around, and within a month I could drive my car again.”

He is equally full of praise for Dr. Johnson and the surgical team at Swedish. “Dr. Johnson is a total pro and did a great job,” Davis added. “Everybody made me feel special, and man, it was just a great overall experience.”

“Percival’s prognosis is excellent,” noted Dr. Johnson. “He should be living his life without worries about this hernia.”

Completely pain-free, Davis is excited to get back to work and make music, where he performs under the stage name “Jeorgefromyard.”

“Not everything’s back to normal just yet with live music because of COVID-19,” he said. “But we’re moving in that direction, and you can bet I’ll be sure to let Dr. Johnson know when he can come and see me perform!”