Hernia Center

Approximately five million Americans suffer from hernias, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Hernia surgery is often performed with minimally invasive techniques, which means that patients can often return quickly to normal activity, with less discomfort and much faster recovery times.

At the University of Maryland Hernia Center, patients receive the most advanced surgical care from doctors who are leaders in the field of hernia repair.

The UM Hernia Center specializes in using the most advanced minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques to treat all types of hernias. There are many advantages to this approach, including quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays, as well as a significantly reduced risk of infection and recurrence.

Most hernias at the Hernia Center are repaired laparoscopically, which is not true on a national level. In fact, most patients we see would probably be candidates for minimally invasive procedures. Although we perform surgeries minimally invasively whenever possible, we are also very experienced in performing traditional (open) surgery. Most importantly, each treatment is tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.

Conditions Treated

Our surgeons excel in treating both complex cases -- such as recurrent hernias -- and more routine cases. With a hernia procedure, the first surgery is the patient's best chance of having a successful surgery. Our surgeons perform the most effective surgical procedures based on each patient's situation in an effort to avoid recurrences and get it right the first time.

Our multidisciplinary center treats all types of hernias, including:

Specialized Treatment Services

Our team of specialists offers a full range of diagnostic and treatment services designed to provide hernia patients with the most effective care possible. We offer a wide range of both minimally invasive and standard (open) procedures, including:

What is a Laparoscopic Procedure?

A laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgical procedure is an alternative to traditional or what is known as "open" surgery, in which a large incision must be made. At the University of Maryland Medical Center, surgeons provide patients with this technologically advanced option. Our surgeons use laparoscopic surgery -- also referred to as videoscopic surgery, keyhole surgery and laparoscopy -- to make incisions only millimeters in size.

These small incisions create a passageway for special surgical instruments and a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a fiber-optic instrument that is inserted in the abdominal wall. This device transmits images from within the body to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the operative area on the screen.

Advantages to the minimally invasive approach include:

  • Quicker recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities and work
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Reduced rate of infection
  • Reduced recurrence rate

Multidisciplinary Treatment Approach

Our multidisciplinary treatment approach benefits our patients, and is something many other facilities do not provide. Depending on the case, we work with various types of surgeons, including thoracic, trauma, pediatric and plastic surgeons to ensure the best outcomes. We work closely with the Division of Plastic Surgery team for their expertise in abdominal wall reconstruction to treat those patients with complex ventral hernias where synthetic mesh is undesirable or in hernia patients who may benefit from concurrent abdominoplasty. Patients have access to the expertise of all University of Maryland Medical Center surgeons and staff in one convenient place. 

In addition, patients may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. Our researchers are initiating trials and investigating other types of treatments, including new prosthetics.

If you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services, please call 1-800-492-5538 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).