Surgeons Tackle Opioid Epidemic With Nationwide Task Force

Posted  Apr 11, 2019 10:33:32 AM

(BOSTON) April 11, 2019 — This month the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC) is launching an Opioid Reduction Task Force to better understand how opioids are prescribed and used by patients. Surgeons who are members of AHSQC can participate in the task force by researching and analyzing patients 30-days after an inguinal or ventral hernia surgery.

The surgeons on this task force will use the data to implement quality improvement projects aimed at reducing the number of opioids prescribed into the population.

“Nearly one out of every 16 patients who receive a postoperative opioid prescription becomes dependent on it for six months. In my own patient research, I found that none of my patients were taking opioid prescriptions 1-2 weeks after surgery and those who did take opioids needed four pills or less” states Dr. Michael Reinhorn of Boston Hernia and Chair of Opioid Reduction Task Force.

Dr. Reinhorn continues, “in my opinion, patients don’t need the quantity of opioid prescriptions that doctors continue to prescribe – which is why we need to educate surgeons through this task force.”

The Opioid Reduction Task Force will be lead by Dr. Michael Reinhorn from Boston Hernia. Dr. Reinhorn has worked with founders of AHSQC, Dr. Benjamin Poulose and Dr. Michael Rosen, to bring the task force to fruition. Dr. Reinhorn will lead surgeons on the task force in conversations around data and findings while informing others in the industry on how they can join and get involved with opioid reduction.


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.