Comprehensive Hernia Center
The Comprehensive Hernia Center at Allegheny Health Network
At the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Comprehensive Hernia Center, we offer high-quality, specialized care for hernias, including:
- Abdominal wall hernias
- Sports hernias
- Groin hernias
- Complex hernias
Our interprofessional team of experts meets the specific needs of each patient in a variety of surgical specialties that include general, plastic, and colorectal surgery. Whenever possible, we apply innovative, minimally invasive surgical techniques that speed recovery and reduce infection.
Preparing for surgery
A multidisciplinary team of doctors and clinicians will ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. To reduce your risk factors before and after surgery, this team may help you to:
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking
- Improve your diabetes scores
- Manage other health issues
Busy mom is living pain free after laparoscopic surgery for hernia
Rhaina loves the West Penn Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She spent two weeks there when she was a baby. Both her daughters had NICU care, 108 days between the two of them.
However, in August 2015, after her second daughter was also born prematurely via Cesarean section, Rhaina was rushed back into surgery. She had burst a blood vessel in her stomach.
Though the repair was relatively simple, it involved a large abdominal incision, making a future hernia more likely. A few months later Rhaina noticed the hernia. At first it was small, about the size of a marble, but by the summer the bulge grew to the size of her fist.
Rhaina, 41, had two children and an active photography career. The hernia didn’t cause much pain and she could lift her tiny new baby. She didn’t want to go through major surgery again, so she lived with the inconvenience. But in 2016, her PCP urged her to talk to a hernia surgeon. Several doctors recommended Dr. George Eid, Director of the AHN Comprehensive Hernia Center, for the new, minimally invasive surgery he was doing.
A CT scan showed that Rhaina actually had five hernias. Most doctors wouldn’t tackle that without a full, upper body incision. But Dr. Eid gave her the option of laparoscopic surgery with a mesh implant to hold her abdomen together. “I chose that, rather than get cut in half again,” Rhaina said.
The staff at the center arranged all her appointments and provided all instructions. It was a complex surgery. “Her stomach muscles were stretched so thin, there wasn’t much holding her abdomen together,” said Dr. Eid. He made multiple small incisions and used 60 tiny plastic screws to attach the mesh to her muscles. She was in the hospital for three days to control pain and avoid infection.
“It wasn’t an easy recovery. My husband helped out when he could and my Mom stayed with us,” Rhaina said. “They told me no lifting for two months and I followed instructions. I didn’t want to go through this again. But every three weeks, I saw a big improvement in the way I felt, just as Dr. Eid said I would.”
Now fully recovered, Rhaina has been pain-free for at least a year. She is able to work day-long events as a photographer, wearing a surgical brace for extra support. She walks for exercise, toning her stomach to keep it strong. “I may never get back to where I was, but I’m watching my health,” she said. “You need to be aware of what your body is doing. “
Please contact your local AHN hospital if you have an urgent matter and need immediate assistance.
If you have questions about our program, contact:
Jennifer Somers, Hernia Care Coordinator
To schedule an appointment, call (412) DOCTORS or 412-362-8677.