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AHN Launches Comprehensive Center to Advance Treatment for Hernias

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pittsburgh, Pa -- Allegheny Health Network has launched the Comprehensive Hernia Center to provide patients with specialized care for the treatment of hernias. Based out of West Penn Hospital, the Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to a condition that affects roughly five million people annually in the United States.

A hernia is the bulging of an organ or tissue through a weak spot in the muscles with symptoms ranging from swelling in the abdominal wall, pain when lifting or bending and consistent irritation when performing daily tasks.

“Although millions suffer from hernias, a small number of those people seek the necessary medical treatment. Our Comprehensive Hernia Center will serve as an optimal access point for patients and will help many find and navigate the care they need,” said George Eid, MD, Director of the AHN Comprehensive Hernia Center. “A hernia should be monitored by a patient’s primary care physician but it shouldn’t be ignored. If left untreated, hernias can lead to severe pain, nausea, vomiting and bowel obstruction and could require emergency surgery.”

The Center coordinates a multi-disciplinary team of specialists including general, plastic and colorectal surgeons to treat various types of hernias – from “sports” hernias to inguinal hernias to major complex abdominal wall hernias. In addition, the group works alongside clinical teams to ensure patients are healthy enough before surgery and are equipped with resources and information to speed recovery afterward.

“Our Center also makes the connections to help our patients access weight loss programs, smoking cessation and diabetes care, all focusing on health issues which often cause hernias in the first place,” continued Eid.

Surgical care options offered at the Comprehensive Hernia Center focus on minimally invasive approaches leveraging laparoscopic tools and robotic techniques, among others.

Nearly 99 percent of individuals who undergo laparoscopic surgery for hernia repair return to their usual activities in one week, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The mean surgical time is roughly 30 minutes, and most patients will go home the day of the surgery.

Although based out of West Penn Hospital, the Comprehensive Center is a virtual concept with access points at all AHN facilities. For more information on the center or to make an appointment, call 412-DOCTORS.