New Hernia Center specializes in multidisciplinary team approach to hernia repair

University of Iowa Health Care now offers patients with simple or complex hernia diagnoses access to collaborative care through a new center located within the Surgery Specialty Clinic at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

“Hernia care is continually evolving. Providing state-of-the-art care to patients requires a multidisciplinary team approach,” says Luis Garcia, MD, a clinical assistant professor of acute care surgery. “By combining our individual talents and expertise, we are able to provide outstanding care for patients with both simple and complex abdominal wall hernias.”

The Hernia Center uses a multidisciplinary team approach—drawing on the expertise of board certified, fellowship-trained surgeons from general surgery, plastic surgery, and minimally invasive surgery, and bariatric surgery—to develop individualized care plans for each patient.

“The multidisciplinary approach to hernia repair is what makes this service unique,” says Jerrod Keith, MD, FACS, clinical assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery. “The focus of our approach goes beyond hernia repair, in fact, a more descriptive term would be abdominal wall reconstruction. Our goal is to restore abdominal wall function, allowing patients to resume an active lifestyle, not just to repair a hole in the abdominal wall.”

Hernia Center specialists have also developed care protocols that address medical issues before and after surgery—smoking/tobacco use, blood sugar control and risks for diabetes, and weight loss support and bariatric surgery, for example—to help improve treatment outcomes and patients’ overall health.

“Not all hernias are the same, whether it is the patient characteristics, hernia location, or etiology,” says Peter Nau, MD, a clinical assistant professor of gastrointestinal, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery. “The ability to address them using a variety of techniques from different approaches provides us the opportunity to tailor the type of repair that the patient gets to maximize outcomes and patient satisfaction.”

Patients can schedule an initial consultation appointment by calling the Hernia Center at 319-356-2902.