St. Luke’s International Hospital

St. Luke’s International Hospital

Hernia center

Hernia center


The Hernia Center offers specialized treatment for hernias, particularly abdominal hernias in adults.
The Center was founded in May 2015 under the leadership of Dr Shintaro Sakurai, who also served as the President of the Japan Hernia Society at the time.
The present staff of the Hernia Center include three hernia specialists who are all members of the board of directors of the Japan Hernia Society.



Hernia specialists provide individualized treatment that is based on the latest advances in the field, and is suited to each patient’s specific situation.
As of July 2017, only 66 physicians have been certified to perform laparoscopic hernia surgery in Japan, and 2 of them are presently performing laparoscopic procedures on a full-time basis at this center.

1. We gladly accept patients with complicated hernias that could not be treated elsewhere.

Making use of the multi-specialist environment characteristic to St. Luke’s International Hospital, a specialist team approach is used as necessary for the treatment of hernias.
Especially in case of hernia repair in elderly patients and in those with heart or kidney disease, who are all prone to complications, cardiologists, nephrologists or other internists are included in the team cooperating with the treatment.

2. Option of day surgery

Hernias don’t heal by themselves.
If a hernia is left untreated, because “It doesn’t bother me now, and it isn’t painful...,” the hernia may be trapped in the muscular wall (strangulation, a situation in which the trapped intestine cannot return to the abdominal cavity, and that may lead to ischemia and necrosis of the strangulated part of the intestines), a rare but serious complication that necessitates emergency surgery.
However, having the concern of something like a hernia at the back of one’s mind all the time may lower one’s quality of life. If the hernia does not affect the patient’s general condition, we try to adapt the treatment to suit the patient’s situation, and if the patient does not have underlying diseases or other complications, and meet certain other conditions, day surgery is also an option for treatment.

《Day surgery》

Day surgery means that the patient is hospitalized, undergoes surgery, and is discharged on the same day.
The time spent in hospital is as short as possible, and the patient can return to a normal routine at an early stage.
Treatment is possible with the smallest effect on work time and house chores.
Since a relatively short time is spent in hospital, the overall expenses are also relatively low.
The patient can recover within the home atmosphere, reducing the psychological burden during this time.
This kind of treatment is particularly useful for working people and parents who are taking care of small children.

An example of the schedule for day surgery

08:00 Sign in at the hospital reception desk
08:30~10:30 Anesthesia/surgery (the surgery usually takes about 60 min.)
10:30~ Rest in a private room
14:00 Take a light meal
15:30 Examination by the doctor who performed the surgery
16:00 Discharge

It is possible to change from day surgery to remaining hospitalized at night if it is considered necessary based on the postoperative course.
Day surgery can be considered for adult patients who

  • wish to have day surgery
  • undergo inguinal hernia repair for the first time
  • have not previously had major abdominal surgery
  • are in a stable general condition
  • are not taking any specific medications
  • do not have any appointments on the day following surgery
  • can be accompanied by a family member or friend on the day of surgery and the following day

Please ask at the Hernia Center.

Pediatric patients under 16 years of age with the following specific diseases are also eligible to undergo day surgery.

  • Inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia, scrotal hydrocele, skin boil, phimosis, etc. in children who can receive proper care at home
  • Children who can arrive at the hospital within less than 1 hour in an emergency
  • Children without other major diseases

Please ask at the Pediatric Surgery Department.

《Pediatric day surgery》

Who can have day surgery?

Patients who wish to have day surgery for a disease for which a day surgery procedure is available, who do not have any other medical complications, and who have someone who will accompany and help the patient.

Is day surgery safe?

In Western countries, more than 80% of inguinal hernias are repaired by day surgery, and institutions offering day surgery have also been increasing in Japan. In most cases day surgery is possible, but if patients have postoperative pain or other concerns, it is not indicated, and in such cases hospitalization can be prolonged.
In Japan there is not an official system that grants certification for inguinal techniques used to repair hernias. As of July 2017, there are 66 physicians who have received official certification to perform laparoscopic hernia surgery in Japan, and 2 of these surgeons are presently performing laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernias on a full-time basis at this center.

What should one do if your condition worsens after returning home?

St. Luke’s International Hospital is open for emergencies 24 hours a day. If you are concerned about your condition after returning home, please call the hospital (Tel.: 03-3541-5151).

Weekdays 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Gastroenterology Center
Other times: Emergency department


How to have a consultation

<First visit>

If you wish to be seen at the Hernia Center, you need to have a referral letter.
Please call the Appointment Services Desk (03-5550-7120), and ask for an outpatient appointment with the Hernia Center.

<Patients with a history of previous hernia repair, and those undergoing regular treatment at another institution for underlying disease>

Please prepare a referral letter from the concerned medical institution.

※In case of children under 16 years of age with inguinal hernia, consult the Pediatric Surgery Department.

※The Hernia Center does not see patients with spinal hernia (disc herniation), which causes backache and numbness or a pins and needles sensation of the legs. For spinal hernia, please consult the Orthopedic Surgery Department.