Clark Gerhart MD FACS FASMBS

Clark Gerhart MD FACS FASMBS

Robotic General and Bariatric Surgeon


Please contact us to schedule your surgery appointment today!


Dr. Gerhart has performed minimally invasive hernia operations since 1995. In 2012 he added robotic technique which allows more complex hernias to be done without the need for a large incision. The new techniques have also shown lower recurrence rates and fewer complications.


A hernia is a hole through a muscle of the body. The most common hernias are holes in the muscles of the abdominal wall. When a hole occurs in the abdominal wall, things contained within the abdomen, commonly the intestines, can push into the hole and get struck. This is called an incarcerated hernia, and they can cause pain, nausea and bloating. If the intestines become pinched tightly in the hernia the blood supply can be cut off causing them to become gangrenous, which can be life threatening.

Hernias occur in weak spots in the muscle. They can occur where testicular blood vessels pass through the muscle of the groins (inguinal hernias) or on the front of the abdominal wall (ventral hernias) such as the umbilicus which is naturally weak from the umbilical cord passing through the muscle or in areas that have become weakened by having surgery. Even a well healed scar from a surgical incision is less strong than normal muscle layers.


Complex hernias have additional issues that make them harder to manage and may include:

  • Large Hernias – require mesh or mesh placed within the layers of the abdominal wall
  • Component Separation – moving muscles of the abdominal wall to cover the largest hernias
  • Recurrent Hernias – hernias that recur after they already have been fixed surgically are complicated by scar tissue and possibly old mesh embedded in the tissues
  • Multiple Hernias – multiple defects are more challenging to repair than single hernias
  • Stoma Hernias – these occur where a colostomy closes the abdominal wall and are difficult to repair because a hole must be maintained to allow the ostomy to pass to the outside
  • Obese Hernia Patients – greater pressure on the abdominal wall requires stronger repairs to prevent recurrence
  • Hernias After Previous Abdominal Surgery – previous surgery will produce scar tissue adhesions which have to be managed before a hernia repair can be done.


If you believe you have a hernia, or if you have a hernia that is complex, and others have told you it is too difficult to fix, seek surgical treatment before compilations like incarceration or strangulation occur.

Hernias only get worse, they never get better, when left untreated. Time, pressure and gravity all work together to gradually make hernias grow larger, trapping more and more tissue. It is always easier to repair hernias sooner than later.

To schedule an appointment to have your hernia evaluated go to Contact & Scheduling Surgery page. If you are from outside of the Wilkes-Barre area, gather your tests results and follow instructions for submitting them for review found on the same page.