A new approach to a complex issue

The Center for Abdominal Core Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is the world’s first integrated treatment center of its kind. Traditionally, diseases of the abdominal core or conditions that impact abdominal strength were treated as isolated health issues. However, we now understand that abdominal core health can have a significant effect on the overall body.

Ohio State’s innovative approach is intended to simplify the entire treatment process for patients while also maximizing long-term recovery and daily quality of life. We accomplish this by coordinating care between a team of experts from different medical specialties, including:

  • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Personal Training
  • Nutrition Services
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Critical Care
  • Trauma Surgery
  • General and Gastrointestinal Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery

This team approach is an entirely new way to address issues of abdominal core health.

rectus abdominus_v2_webWhy is abdominal core health important?

Core muscle strength and the support it provides to your body are critical to your overall well-being and ability to enjoy daily activities. Your “abdominal core” includes the muscles and supporting structures in your front, sides and back, as well as the diaphragm above and pelvic muscles below. These parts of your body work in close harmony with each other and make it possible to perform nearly every physical task—work, hobbies, exercise or even a quick walk around the block or picking up your children or grandchildren.

A strong core helps:

  • Prevent injury
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce lower back pain
  • Improve breathing

Treatment

Some of the common abdominal core conditions we treat include hernia, diastasis of the abdominal wall, growths and tumors, pelvic floor or diaphragm problems, and chronic pain related to previous operations.

It is important to recognize that the front part of the abdomen, where conditions such as hernias develop, are linked to and can impact the health of other nearby areas, including the back, pelvic floor or diaphragm. Because all of these parts are dependent upon and connected to each other—and can also impact more distant parts of the body—a seemingly simple issue can become quite challenging if not treated with a comprehensive approach. This is exactly why each Ohio State patient receives a treatment plan coordinated between experts from the very beginning.

You can be confident that we will first try nonsurgical treatment options if that is appropriate for your particular issue. If you do require surgery, you will be cared for by surgeons who understand how the abdominal core affects the entire body. You may also receive prehabilitation before your operation to help you gain strength, stop smoking, lose weight or manage diabetes, as well as postsurgical rehabilitation to speed recovery.

Why choose Ohio State?

We have been leaders and innovators in the field of abdominal core health.

  • Our Center for Abdominal Core Health is the first of its kind offering coordinated, comprehensive care from world-class experts.
  • Ohio State helped develop and is the first health center in the nation to adopt the formal rehabilitation protocol for abdominal core surgery issued by the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative (ACHQC), a national quality improvement effort in hernia surgery.
  • We also serve as a data coordination center for the ACHQC to improve hernia treatment worldwide.
  • Because we are part of one of the nation’s largest academic health centers, we can collaborate with nearly any kind of specialist to personalize a treatment plan that suits each patient’s unique condition and individual goals.
  • Our team also conducts ongoing research, so patients can participate in studies that include innovative treatment options.

Videos from our experts

What is abdominal core health?

Benjamin Poulose, MD, co-director of the Center for Abdominal Core Health, explains the new concept of abdominal core health and how it connects to overall gastrointestinal health.

Misconceptions about hernias

Jeffrey Janis, MD, co-director of the Center for Abdominal Core Healthexplains common misconceptions about surgical mesh.

Why choose Ohio State for hernia care?

Benjamin Poulose, MD, a general surgeon specializing in hernia repair and abdominal core health, explains the high-quality hernia care at Ohio State.

What to expect for your abdominal wall surgery

Jeffrey Janis, MD, co-director of the Center for Abdominal Core Health, explains what you can expect during your abdominal wall reconstruction surgery and the recovery process afterward. 

Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative

(formerly known as Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative)

Dr. Poulose explains the collaborative and Ohio State's critical role as the data coordination center.

Our Doctors

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