Special Clinical Focus

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Incisional hernia including component separation
  • Abdominal wall hernia
  • Femoral hernia
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Parastomal hernias
  • Abdominal separation surgery
  • Sportsman’s groin
  • Perineal hernias
  • Lumbar hernias
  • Chronic inguinal hernia pain

About us

As renowned hernia specialists, Asst Lect. Dr Philipp Kirchhoff and Dr Henry Hoffmann provide comprehensive diagnosis and individualised treatment for inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias, incisional hernias including parastomal hernias, abdominal wall hernias, femoral hernias, hiatus hernias and sportsman’s groin. 

Hernias are among the most common surgical conditions. Worldwide, approximately 20 million hernia operations are performed annually. In Switzerland, approximately 16,000 – 18,000 patients undergo hernia surgery each year. A hernia is a pathological gap in the abdominal wall or in the diaphragm, through which, due to the internal abdominal pressure, a hernial sac consisting of a section of perineum can protrude. Sections of the intestine, such as intestinal loops, can protrude into this hernial sac, and so, in principle, every hernia carries with it the risk of incarceration or injury to this intestinal loop. For this reason, any hernia should be surgically assessed by a specialist in order to plan the surgical repair of the hernia. 

Here, we invariably perform hernia surgery in accordance with international guidelines. At the same time, selecting the surgical technique depends on the type of hernia, whether there has already been previous surgery in this area and the requirements expressed by our patients. At the University Hernia Centre, Basle, we therefore provide the complete range of the various hernia procedures. As a rule, hernia surgery (inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia, incisional and abdominal wall hernias, etc.) is performed today using the so-called keyhole technique (laparoscopy, minimally invasive surgery). Thus, more extensive incisions into the skin and longer hospital stays are avoided and the recovery time following the procedure is shortened. In some cases, however, open surgery must be performed, for very large abdominal wall hernias or incisional hernias, for example.

For us, the quality of the care of our hernia patients has the highest priority. We are only university hospital in Switzerland to have been awarded the “Quality Hernia Surgery” seal of approval by the German Hernia Association (DHG). The seal of approval is given to hospitals which perform hernia surgery in keeping with evidence-based scientific standards and which participate in an international quality assurance programme for hernia surgery as a whole. Here, the results of the hernia surgery we have performed are scientifically recorded and followed up for up to ten years in order to detect problems occurring later reliably. Based on these results, then, we are able to develop the best therapeutic options for our patients in collaboration with the international specialists. In close collaboration with other specialist associations in Germany and Austria, in the Surgical Hernia Working Group, we also contribute to the development of patient- and quality-orientated treatment routes in hernia surgery.

Diagnostic Services

At the University Hernia Centre, Basle, in close collaboration with our colleagues in Radiology and Gastroenterology, we provide comprehensive diagnostic clarification. This includes complete radiological diagnostics (X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, Duplex sonography), interventional diagnostics (angiography, image-guided puncture and therapy) and endoscopic diagnostics (gastroscopy, and enteroscopy).

Therapeutic Services

1. Surgery for inguinal hernias using mesh
- minimally invasive techniques using mesh: TAPP and TEP
- open techniques using mesh: Lichtenstein, Rives-Stoppa and TIPP
- open technique not using mesh: Shouldice

2. Surgery for abdominal wall hernias, incisional hernias and umbilical hernias
- minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques (laparoscopic IPOM)
- open techniques using mesh (sublay technique, open IPOM)
- open (TAR) and endoscopic component separation (ECS) for large abdominal wall hernias
- Preparatory treatment of large abdominal wall hernias with Botox (Botulinum toxin A) 

3. Abdominal separation surgery
- open, minimally invasive surgery (endoscope-assisted linea alba reconstruction, ELAR)
- laparoscopic surgery (IPOM)

4. Surgery for hiatus hernias
- laparoscopic hiatus hernia surgery with fundoplication

5. Treatment for sportsman’s groin
- Open minimal repair technique
- laparoscopic technique (TEP, TAPP)

6. Interdisciplinary treatment of chronic inguinal pain with the complete range of conservative and surgical treatments 

7. Open and minimally invasive surgery for all conditions affecting the abdominal organs (gallbladder, appendix, liver, stomach, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, spleen)

8. Surgery for proctological conditions (haemorrhoids, fistulas, anal prolapse, rectal prolapse)

Special Offers / Arrangements / Rooms

Special Services

Together with our hernia consultation, we can also provide for a second opinion at any time, including comprehensive diagnostics and advice. 
For the purposes of quality-assured hernia surgery, we follow up our hernia patients again, after 1 year, 5 years and 10 years, and we are directly available at any time as a contact where there are problems. 

Service & Rooms Patients with general insurance are cared for in two-bed rooms with their own TV and WLAN. Private patients are cared for in a single room with TV, WLAN, hotel service and panoramic views of the city of Basle.
The new catering concept of the Basle University Hospital includes a consistent orientation towards the requirements of our patients. We are the first hospital in Switzerland to offer our patients the opportunity to order hot or cold meals at any time. Dishes can be selected from a menu with 23 set meals and single components and are prepared directly on the wards. Here, the hotel service staff caters to the needs of the patients and gives individual guidance. The food can be served in as little as a couple of minutes after the order.
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