Boston Surgeon Offers Rare Approach to Hernia Repairs


(BOSTON) February 13, 2019 — Michael Reinhorn, MD, is a board-certified general surgeon at Boston Hernia who has performed more than 3,000 hernia operations and has nearly 20 years of surgical experience. He is one of only seven surgeons in the United States who routinely performs the Advanced Open Preperitoneal Inguinal Hernia Repair, which results in decreased recovery time, post-operative pain, and hernia recurrence when compared to laparoscopic hernia surgery. Boston Hernia is a surgical practice for hernia repairs that opened its doors in Boston, MA of late October 2018.

The Advanced Open Preperitoneal Inguinal Hernia Repair uses an open surgery approach to make a single incision in the groin and patch the hernia using mesh. The mesh is placed under the hernia defect, between the abdominal muscles and intestines, and is held in place by the patient’s abdominal pressure. After a two week recovery period, scar tissue will generate and bind the mesh with the abdominal wall to prevent any shifting. Patients who choose this approach experience little pain and have a quicker return to activity.

With laparoscopic surgery, the patient will receive multiple incisions in their abdomen and their stomach is expanded in order to place the mesh. This requires general anesthesia and is typically more painful.

Advanced Open Preperitoneal Inguinal Hernia Repair Recovery & Outcomes

In 2017, Dr. Reinhorn surveyed nearly 185 of his patients to measure their surgical outcomes related to pain, opioid use, and days of work missed. He discovered the following results:

  • Over half (59.5%) did not require prescription opioid medications to manage pain
  • Of the patients that did take prescription opioid medications for their pain after surgery, most took four pills or less
  • 2/3 returned to work after missing only three days or less
  • All patients returned to their daily activity within 2-3 weeks

As a result of these findings, Boston Hernia has since changed their prescription from 10 to six opioid tablets for most patients.



12/2021 Update: As of June 2020, we no longer routinely prescribe opioids for post operative pain. After continuing to study our outcomes, we found that 90% of our patients do not take opioids after inguinal hernia surgery. We partner with our patients to make the best decision for them about pain management after hernia surgery.


Dr. Michael Reinhorn is a specialist in inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia. He started his practice as a general surgeon in 2001, and in 2012 he transitioned to focus on the care of hernia patients. In 2018, he co-founded Boston Hernia, an ambulatory surgery practice focused exclusively on hernia surgery. In 2020, Dr. Nora Fullington was recruited from her work as a general surgeon, where she performed hundreds of laparoscopic hernia repairs, to Boston Hernia where she was intensively trained by Dr. Reinhorn in the open preperitoneal and Shouldice techniques. Together with their physician assistant team, they perform approximately 800 hernia surgeries every year. Both surgeons offer a tailored approach for each patient, taking into account individual patient factors to decide if surgery is recommended or not, what type of repair (open, laparoscopic, mesh, non-mesh) is best, and what type of anesthesia is safest. At Boston Hernia, our focus is on each individual patient and continuously improving our own surgical techniques and outcomes. We do this by participating in various hernia societies, studying our own outcomes through a national database, and publishing our data to influence the care of hernia patients nationally and internationally. Boston Hernia is an affiliate practice of the Mass General Brigham system. In addition to operating at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a Mass General Brigham Hospital, we offer care at ambulatory surgery centers in Waltham, MA and Derry, NH.