Shouldice - The best no mesh hernia repair for inguinal hernia.

There is 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, no 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.  Since 2015, we have offered this approach to qualified patients about 100 time per year.  Over the last few decades hernia surgery has evolved into most mesh repairs.  While hernias are typically less likely to come back when mesh is used, many patients develop chronic problems including chronic pain after mesh hernia surgery.  For this reason, we educate out patients and offer them a non mesh alternative. 

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


Male patient interested in a no mesh 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. This repair utilizes the patients own tissues and is designed to move and stretch with activity. By avoiding mesh, the body's natural movement is usually completely preserved.