Shouldice Inguinal Hernia Repair - A Mesh Alternative

There’s a specialty clinic in Toronto, Canada called Shouldice Hospital. It was named after E.E. Shouldice, a brilliant surgeon who revolutionized inguinal hernia repair by developing a dependable, non-mesh technique back in 1945. Today, Shouldice Hospital performs more than 5000 hernia surgeries every year. They’re true experts, and Dr. Reinhorn has had the honor of visiting their facility to observe their surgeons and learn their techniques.

Boston Hernia offers the Shouldice procedure to appropriate candidates, including:

  • Patients who are thin and healthy
  • Patients with small to moderate sized hernias
  • Individuals who prefer to avoid mesh for their hernia repair



The Shouldice technique involves suturing the defect in the abdominal wall back together (vs. overlying it with surgical mesh). It’s performed using a permanent, high-strength suture material. The surgeon weaves the suture through multiple layers of tissue within the abdominal wall to create a labyrinth of strength. Patients are able to return to normal physical activity as they feel up to it, usually about 3-4 weeks after surgery.