Condon Hernia Institute

The Robert E. Condon Hernia Institute is a collaborative, multidisciplinary program comprised of clinicians dedicated to hernia repair. Our team is made up of surgeons who specialize in hernia repair surgery, radiologists, plastic surgeons, and nurses.

We Care About Quality

Surgeons in the Division of General Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin who are a part of the Condon Hernia Institute are actively engaged in the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative. The Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC) aims to “improve the value in hernia care delivered to patients. Formed in 2013 by hernia surgeons in private practice and academic settings, the AHSQC utilizes concepts of continuous quality improvement to improve outcomes and optimize costs. This is accomplished through patient-centered data collection, ongoing performance feedback to clinicians, and improvement based on analysis of collected data and collaborative learning. The AHSQC fulfills the Americas Hernia Society mission of providing the right operation for the right patient and the right time.”

Our Mission

The mission of the Condon Hernia Institute is to promote excellence in hernia surgery outcomes. We strive to provide the latest and most advanced techniques in hernia repair. Our objective is to allow our patients to work with us to tailor a treatment plan that is right for them – whether their hernia is simple or complex.

About Dr. Condon

The name Condon is synonymous with hernia repair. Dr. Condon was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 1979-1997. He came to the College in 1972 from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. Prior to that, he was a member of the faculty of the University of Washington, Baylor University, and the University of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Condon completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Washington after graduating from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Condon has published countless articles and book chapters on the topic of hernia repair. Most notably, he was co-editor with another champion of hernia repair, Lloyd M. Nyhus, MD of the textbook simply titled Hernia. This text has been the definitive reference for hernia repairs for over 30 years. Dr. Condon's illustrious career at the Medical College of Wisconsin made him one of the premier voices in the world of hernia repair. We are pleased that Dr. Condon has graciously allowed us to honor his name in the creation of this new Center of Excellence at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Types of Hernias

 Incisional (Ventral) Abdominal Hernia

When a patient has an abdominal wall incision for open surgery of any type, incisional hernias can occur in as many as 1 in 10 patients (or more often depending on a variety of patient specific risk factors). These hernias may appear immediately after surgery or even several years later. In laparoscopic incisional hernia repair procedures, multiple small incisions are made throughout the abdomen and surrounding the hernia defect rather than one large incision as is the case for open repair. With the patient asleep, carbon dioxide gas is used to distend the abdominal cavity and create space for the surgeon to work during the repair. The surgeon navigates throughout the abdominal cavity using a long thin camera (laparoscope) to project an image from inside onto a video screen. Once all adhesions and scar tissue have been cleared from the abdominal wall, a piece of thin and pliable surgical mesh is rolled and pulled into the abdomen through a tiny incision and laparoscopic port site. The mesh is unrolled and then used to repair the hernia defect using a combination of sutures and tacks to fix the mesh into place.

Not every incisional hernia can or should be repaired laparoscopically. Some patients require or will do much better with a more extensive abdominal wall reconstruction. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to accomplish this reconstruction. Your surgeon can help to determine the best approach. Additional testing (such as an abdominal CT scan) or consultation (with Condon Hernia Institute providers) may be necessary for complicated cases. For a full discussion of the risks, options, and alternatives to incisional hernia repair, please make an appointment with a surgeon.

 Inguinal (Groin) Hernias

One in four men will develop or be diagnosed with an inguinal hernia at some point in his lifetime. Today, inguinal hernia repair is one of the most common operations performed by general surgeons - nearly 600,000 operations are performed annually in the United States. The most common reason to repair a hernia is to correct pain and discomfort related to the presence of this hernia. Some inguinal hernias may become stuck or “incarcerated” necessitating a more urgent procedure. Inguinal hernias can be repaired with an open approach (a single larger incision in the groin) or a laparoscopic approach (several smaller incisions, also called a minimally invasive approach). There are advantages and disadvantages to each technique.

Open Inguinal Hernia Repair

There are a variety of techniques employed for open inguinal hernia repair. Most of the time, a piece of mesh is used for reinforcement during the repair. Without mesh, the risk of the hernia coming back again (recurrence) is quite high in most cases. The mesh used in inguinal hernia repair is usually synthetic material that looks like a screen. Mesh comes in many different shapes, sizes, and is made from a variety of materials. In open inguinal hernia surgery, a single incision is made in the groin. This incision is larger than what is required for a laparoscopic hernia repair. Certain hernias are best repaired in an open manner. Long term outcomes for hernia repairs performed in an open or a laparoscopic manner are similar. For a full discussion of the risks, options, and alternatives to an open approach, please make an appointment with a surgeon.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair

Laparoscopic techniques for inguinal hernia repair were first introduced about 20 years ago. Despite this fact, only about 1 of every 5 inguinal hernia repairs is currently performed laparoscopically. The majority of inguinal hernia repairs in this country are still performed with an open technique through a larger groin incision. This may at least partially relate to the fact that laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair techniques are difficult to master. Open inguinal hernia repair is much easier to learn. They are both good techniques with excellent results in experienced hands.

Some of the advantages to a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair when compared to an open technique include:

  • The possibility that there is less pain immediately following surgery.
  • A potential for a quicker return to work and full activities.
  • Bilateral (left and right) inguinal hernias can be repaired during the same laparoscopic procedure without additional incisions.
  • Hernias that have already been repaired with an open technique that ultimately recur are likely best approached laparoscopically.

Contact Us

Medical College of Wisconsin
Division of General Surgery
9200 W Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI  53226

General Surgery
Clinic and Patient Appointments
Phone: (414) 805-5800
Fax: (414) 454-0152

Administrative Offices
Phone: (414) 805-5928
Fax: (414) 454-0152

    Jon C. Gould
    Phone: (414) 805-5928
    Fax: (414) 454-0152

    James R. Wallace
    Phone: (414) 805-5844
    Fax: (414) 454-0152

    Matthew I. Goldblatt
    Phone: (414) 805-5727
    Fax: (414) 454-0152

    Andrew S. Kastenmeier
    Phone: (414) 805-5026
    Fax: (414) 454-0152
 

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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