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Complex Hernia

Complex Hernia in Houston and The Woodlands

Dr. Linville is a Board-Certified General Surgeon in addition to being a Plastic Surgeon, and he spent his time during General Surgery repairing a high volume of complex ventral incisional hernias, both open and laparoscopic.  It was during his plastic surgery training that he learned a new, state-of-the-art technique.  He now performs complex abdominal wall reconstruction for those with incisional or ventral hernias, and other types of hernias.


Often in order to close the abdominal wall, a technique known as a component separation is used, which Dr. Linville performs in a minimally invasive manner.  This allows not only for complete closure of your hernia but also a more functional result that is less prone to wound breakdown and hernia recurrence (thanks to a preserved blood supply to the skin).  Patients with hernias in Houston and The Woodlands are being sent to Dr. Linville for help with these challenging problems.

Recurrent hernias and patient selection

All too often, Dr. Linville sees patients who have had multiple attempts at hernia repair, but which have failed and now the hernia has come back, potentially worse than it was originally.

A herniologist, or hernia surgeon, knows the most important aspect of a successful surgery is the optimization process prior to surgery, which in some cases can take months to years and may even require weight-loss surgery beforehand.

Most importantly, any type of tobacco use must be stopped at least a month before and a month after surgery, as the complication rate, and thus recurrence risk has been shown to be too high.

Weight must be stable, with a body mass index (BMI) of around 30.  If a patient’s weight is too high, the mechanical forces pushing out on the delicate hernia repair are strained which can (and often does) lead to a recurrence.

Of course, other medical conditions such as Diabetes, heart issues, rheumatologic disease, etc, must be well controlled prior to undergoing this type of complex surgery.

What to expect:

First, a thorough workup with attention to every detail.  Dr. Linville expects this to be the last hernia surgery you ever need.  You will also typically see a General Surgeon in the Houston, with whom Dr. Linville will perform your surgery.  A team approach leads to superior outcomes.  Once it is time for surgery, you should expect to stay in the hospital only 1-2 days (which is much faster than the norm, and likely due to the minimally invasive technique described above).  After surgery, you will only be able to lift 5 lbs for the next 4 weeks.  No heavy exercise, but lots of walking.  You only need to recover once from this surgery!  If done correctly, you should not have a recurrence.  After 6 weeks, you can begin normal exercise and lifting.

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Team Approach

Dr. Linville works closely with a select few general surgeons to complete your hernia repair.  This aspect is important in every phase of your care and cannot be overstated.  Your hernia team doing these types of surgeries together is critical and leads to enhanced outcomes.



Dr. Linville spent 5 years as a general surgeon, and although these surgeries can be the most complex, he enjoys giving people their life back, hernia-free!  He is a member of the American Hernia Society and regularly attends meetings and stays current on any new developments so that his patients receive the finest repair possible.

If you are coming in for a consultation, please bring all operative notes and actual CDs or images of your CAT scan, if you’ve had one recently.