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Moments in Surgical History
October 1, 2006

Groin Hernia: Anatomical and Surgical History

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Surgery (Dr McClusky) and Centers for Surgical Anatomy and Technique (Drs Mirilas, P. Skandalakis, and J. Skandalakis), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga; Departments of Surgery (Dr Zoras) and Anatomy-Embryology (Dr Mirilas), University of Crete Medical School, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Department of Anatomy, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece (Dr P. Skandalakis); and Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Ga (Dr J. Skandalakis).

Arch Surg. 2006;141(10):1035-1042. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.10.1035

The history of surgical repair of groin hernia is a lengthy record of assorted techniques in search of a cure for an ailment that comes in many sizes and shapes and that has plagued humanity for thousands of years. Although improvements are still being sought and found, for several decades surgeons have had the means to relieve most hernia sufferers. A remaining issue is whether the wide array of surgical procedures can or should be whittled down to a few “standard” operations that are safe, effective, and cost-efficient. The history of the anatomy of groin hernia shows how much there was to learn and how much remains to be learned. It also shows how important it is for the surgeon to know and understand both the anatomy of the area and the formation of groin hernia.

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