Explore This Program

About the Program

The Massachusetts General Hospital’s Hernia Center offers state-of-the-art surgical repair for all types of abdominal hernias, particularly for complex and complicated cases. A hernia is a defect in the abdominal musculature that allows fat or abdominal contents to protrude through the abnormal opening. Hiatal or paraesophageal hernias are also treated through our Gastroesophageal Surgery Program.

Leaders in Hernia Surgery

Our legacy in treating hernias dates back to 1811, when Mass General surgeons first began treating hernias. Today, our surgeons perform a high volume of hernia repair surgeries each year—more than 1,600 procedures in the most recent calendar year. Research demonstrates that high-volume experience results in improved patient outcomes. Our surgeons are board-certified, Harvard Medical School-affiliated physicians who specialize in repairing hernias. This specialization requires rigorous advanced training and a highly focused clinical practice. Our center is also a referral site for complicated hernia cases.

Multidisciplinary Hernia Care

Whether your condition requires care from one specialist or an entire team, our surgeons work side by side with your entire treatment team to develop a personalized care plan to treat your condition. In some cases, such as complex reconstructions, we may work with surgeons from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to perform procedures and help coordinate the most appropriate course of care for you.

Conditions We Treat

The types of hernias we treat include:

  • Epigastric hernias, which are often present at birth and similar to umbilical hernias
  • Femoral hernias, which occur when part of the intestines bulge through a weakness in the groin area
  • Incisional hernias, which occur as a result of incompletely healed surgical wounds
  • Inguinal hernias, which occur in the groin area
  • Spigelian hernias, which are a type of abdominal hernia
  • Umbilical hernias, which occurs when part of the intestines protrude through an opening in the abdominal muscles
  • Ventral hernias, a type of incisional hernia

Our Procedures

Our surgeons are particularly skilled in assessing hernias and determining their appropriateness for open or laparoscopic surgery. We offer the full range of surgical options to repair hernias, including:

  • Complex reconstructions
  • Mesh implantation, a technique used to repair most groin hernias. Most open inguinal hernia repairs are performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia
  • State-of-the-art robotic assisted hernia repair

Research & Clinical Trials

Our surgeons are accomplished researchers who are at the forefront of the latest surgical and medical innovations.

Browse online for open clinical trials