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Patient Stories

Advanced Care Gives Hernia Patient Speedy Recovery


Greg Onorato, PsyD, of Danbury, is an active dog-walker who also enjoys working on projects inside and outside of his home. He typically walks over 4 miles a day with his wife and two dogs before he began feeling the sharp pain of a hernia. Dr. Onorato had first experienced the pain in early March 2020. A visit with his urologist at Yale New Haven Hospital led to the referral to the Digestive Health hernia program director, Andrew Duffy, MD, who specializes in robotic hernia repair surgery.

“Robotic surgery for hernia repair provides our patients a much faster, greatly improved recovery period,” said Dr. Duffy. “They’re going to get back to work sooner, they’re going to get back to recreational activities sooner with a lot less pain when compared to open surgery.”

The surgery was performed at Shoreline Medical Center using the latest robotic technology. Robotic surgery is a technique used to repair hernias in which the surgeon is seated at a console handling the surgical instruments, usually several feet away from the patient. Advantages of robotic surgery include three-dimensional images of the inside of the abdomen, smaller scars, faster recovery time and less pain.

Yale New Haven Hospital is the first hospital in Connecticut to perform hernia surgery in a stand-alone ambulatory facility such as Shoreline Medical Center, using the latest robotic surgical system.

“Dr. Duffy did a great job,” commented Dr. Onorato. “I was up walking shortly after the procedure, and any pain I have experienced in the last three days has been quite manageable." Dr. Onorato was happy that he was never bed-bound from the procedure and could move around pretty well just hours after the procedure.

The day after surgery, Dr. Onorato was able to walk a mile with minimal pain or discomfort. A week after, he was close to getting back up to his 4-mile pace. Dr. Onorato also commented on his experience, “The facility in Guilford looks brand new. It was immaculate. The entire staff was friendly and knowledgeable during my entire visit.”

Dr. Duffy, who performs numerous hernia surgeries weekly at the facility, added, “To actually have this technology here at Shoreline Medical Center in a free-standing ambulatory surgery center allows us to do these types of operations and procedures that we would normally do in a regular hospital setting.” The ease and convenience of Shoreline Medical Center was a positive factor in Dr. Onorato’s decision to treat the hernia.

Feeling confident about getting back to long walks with his dogs, Dr. Onorato stated, “Once again, the Yale New Haven Health System has met my expectations for outstanding medical care.”

The Digestive Health Services at Yale New Haven offer patients advanced, proven and effective medical and surgical treatments for a range of gastrointestinal issues.