Newswise — ROUND ROCK, Texas --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 patients can return quickly to normal activity with less discomfort and faster recovery. Scott & White Hospital – Round Rock has opened a Comprehensive Hernia Center for patients with mild to severe hernias looking for minimally-invasive treatment options. The new center offers the patient multi-disciplinary, integrated medical care in one location, which means access to in-house cardiology, pulmonology, endocrinology, Thoracic Surgery and Plastic Surgery.

“What makes us unique is that we’re not only offering a Comprehensive Hernia Center at Scott & White Hospital - Round Rock but we take a multidisciplinary approach to treating hernias, from the simple to the complex cases, in addition to performing clinical research,” said John F. Eckford, M.D., FACS, Director, Division of General Surgery at Scott & White Hospital - Round Rock. “We’re also offering advanced laparoscopic repair options for patients.”

The Scott & White Hospital - Round Rock Hernia Center uses highly advanced minimally-invasive, laparoscopic techniques to treat hernias. Some of the advantages to this approach include faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays, as well as a significantly reduced risk of infection and recurrence.

Dr. Roger A. Smith, General Surgeon on the team at Scott & White Hospital – Round Rock Hernia Center explains that “we have the ability to treat all major types of abdominal hernias. These hernias include:• Paraesophageal• diaphragmatic• ventral/incisional• loss of abdominal domain• umbilical• flank, and • groin hernias (inguinal/femoral, etc.)

“Our ability to offer patients repair options for the more challenging hernias, especially paraesophageal and complex abdominal wall reconstructions, with providers in the same location is what makes us unique.” said Dr. Smith. “We’re using the latest 'fixation-less' materials for hernia repair, and this is critical since the lack of fixation dramatically reduces the occurrence of chronic post-operative pain. The entire medical team is also experienced in "single-incision" laparoscopic techniques (SILS).”

Teaching Other Physicians Dr. Eckford went on to say “we’re also holding courses to teach other specialists in laparoscopic approaches to inguinal (groin) hernia repair. Additionally, we have ongoing, randomized, controlled clinical trials evaluating the potential advantages of this technique with regards to post-operative pain. Our researchers are investigating other types of treatments, including new prosthetics. Dr. Eckford explains the benefits to the patient:• Our experience with performing laparoscopic techniques, especially in the inguinal and paraesophageal areas, means a faster return to normal activity with reduced pain for patients.• The nature of our care model here allows a multidisciplinary approach to hernias. For example, our Plastic Surgery Department routinely works with General Surgery on the more complex abdominal wall reconstruction cases. They have done so many that coordinating care for a patient is much easier and requires fewer office visits for the patient in the pre- and post-op setting. • Additionally, Dr. Subareddy Konda (Cardiothoracic Surgeon) assists in repair of some types of diaphragmatic hernias that must be approached through the chest• If a hernia requires a coordination of care between specialties, these relationships are already established and thus makes it easier on the patient in the pre and post--op period.

Advantages to a minimally-invasive approach include:• Quicker return to normal activities and work• Shorter hospital stay• Reduced rate of infection

For more information or referrals to the Scott & White Hospital - Round Rock Hernia Center, please call 509-7942 (509-SWHC).