Peter Santoro, M.D., FACS

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Peter Santoro, M.D., FACS

Peter Santoro, M.D., FACS

Director of Robotic Surgery

Expertise & Research Interests

  • Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Robotic Surgery
  • Hernia Repair


  • MD, St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • BS, Neuroscience, University of Delaware

Peter Santoro, M.D., FACS

Director of Robotic Surgery

Dr. Peter Santoro is one of the nation’s most experienced surgeons in robotic repair for complex hernias. He is director of Robotic Surgery at ChristianaCare and medical director of The Hernia Center at ChristianaCare.

He specializes in advanced robotic and minimally invasive techniques for repair of hernias, which affect 1 million Americans annually.


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Media Appearances

ChristianaCare doc uses robot for cutting-edge surgeries

2019-12-06 , Delaware Business Times
As Dr. Peter Santoro of ChristianaCare prepares for surgery to repair a patient’s hernia, he turns on some country music, discusses the procedure with his nurses and anesthetist, and gets seated nearly a dozen feet from the operating table to start a procedure that could last as long as five hours.

His hands are still at the patient’s side, however, in the form of a $2.4 million Intuitive da Vinci XI surgical robot, which he manipulates using a control center with a virtual-reality-goggles-like viewfinder and robotic hand grips.

Santoro, a Delaware native, is one of the nation’s leading robotic surgeons when it comes to hernias, an injury that occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place, most commonly the small intestine or colon.

He’s among the very few surgeons in the state or Philadelphia area using robotic technology to do what’s known as transversus abdominis release (TAR) procedures, the most difficult and technically challenging type of surgery for complex ventral hernias. Santoro has become a proponent for the technology, presenting to conferences of the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, America’s Hernia Society, and the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association in the last two years and helping train other surgeons interested in the tech.

The robot’s tools are just millimeters long, and allow for less invasive surgeries. | Photo by Jacob Owens

As the director of robotic surgery at ChristianaCare, he advocates for the technology because it has shown an impressive ability to cut down on patient’s stays in hospitals and their use of narcotics in post-operative care. Peer-reviewed studies from 2017 and 2018 in the journal “Surgical Endoscopy” on the comparison of robotic and traditional TAR surgeries found that robotic procedures resulted in 60% less blood loss, no complications and five fewer days in the hospital.

DBT40 Honoree: Pete Santoro

2019-10-15 , Delaware Business Times
Leadership examples: I am the Director of Robotic Surgery and the Medical Director of The Hernia Center at ChristianaCare. These are leadership roles that require significant time commitments as well as dedication to a very specialized field of surgery.
Selected Papers and Publications

Complex Ventral Hernia Repair in the Class III Morbidly Obese Patient

2018-06-22 , Annals of Plastic Surgery
Patients undergoing complex ventral hernia repair (VHR) often present with significant medical comorbidities, the most prevalent of which is obesity. Although recent advancements in abdominal wall reconstruction techniques have provided the general hernia patient population with markedly improved recurrence and postoperative complication rates, many patients have been precluded from these procedures owing to excessive body mass index (BMI).

Robotic Inguinal Hernia

2018-11-01 , Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery
Inguinal hernia surgery has evolved substantially in recent years. Although the open, tension-free mesh repair still reigns as standard of care and is the predominant method for inguinal hernia repair worldwide, there has been massive shift in surgical approach toward minimally invasive techniques.

Ruptured Peroneal Mycotic Aneurysm Secondary to Streptococcus pneumoniae Empyema Without Aortic Involvement

2013-09-01 , Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice
Mycotic aneurysms are rare and associated with a high mortality owing to their common association with endocarditis and aortic aneurysms. We present a case of a right-sided pneumococcal empyema causing a peroneal artery aneurysm and subsequent rupture. The diagnosis and management of peripheral artery mycotic aneurysms are discussed as well as the incidence of Streptococcus pneumoniae as a pathogen.

Is laparoscopy still needed for staging resectable pancreatic cancer?

Journal of Clinical Oncology
Imaging for pancreatic cancer has demonstrated increased accuracy in staging patients before resection. Many propose diagnostic laparoscopy is therefore unnecessary before laparotomy and resection. Pancreatic cancer still has a high incidence of peritoneal and liver metastases that may be radiographically occult.
External Service and Affiliations
  • Americas Hernia Society : Member
  • Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons : Member
  • American College of Surgeons