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Hernia Institute of Florida – A Center for Specialized Care


The HERNIA INSTITUTE OF FLORIDA, located in Miami, Florida, was founded in 1985 by Dr. Arthur Gilbert.  Early in his career, Dr. Gilbert decided to dedicate his surgical training and experience to the field of herniology – the study of abdominal wall hernias. In 1983, he visited the Shouldice Clinic in Toronto, Ontario – the original hernia specialty center that was established in the 1940’s and still performs thousands of hernia surgeries per year with outstanding results. He returned to Miami determined to establish himself as a hernia surgery expert, or herniologist. Dr. Gilbert was able to take a very select area of surgery, and develop into a world-renowned expert in the field.


The Hernia institute of Florida Institute (HIF) is one of the few surgical centers that specialize solely in hernia repair. We are dedicated to the study, advancement, and training, and performance of hernia surgery. The average general surgeon may do 50 hernias a year – some even less. The surgeons at the Hernia Institute do only hernia repairs, as many as 700 cases a year or more. As a group, our surgeons have performed over 45,000 hernia procedures. In addition to primary or first time hernias, at HIF, we have extensive experience with more difficult, complex hernias, as well as failed procedures that result in recurrent hernias that can be more complicated.


It is well documented by consumer advocate groups such as the Institute of Medicine, that physicians and centers of excellence that are devoted to a single area of concentration will have better results than others that may be involved in many different types of procedures. This has resulted in certification of centers of excellence for complex procedures such as open heart surgery and bariatric surgery. There is no board or certifying agency that measures the qualifications of or analyzes the results of any hernia center, so there is no true “Center of Excellence” certification for hernia surgery. There are very few true “Hernia Centers” like HIF where surgeons do only hernia surgery – most are part of a general surgery practice where a surgeon may have an interest in hernia surgery, but continues to perform many other surgery procedures as part of his practice. There is documentation, in the surgical literature, however, that a surgeon who concentrates on one group of procedures such as hernias will have superior outcomes compared to a well-qualified surgeon who does hernias along with many other procedures. Hernias are very common, and many general surgeons have considerable experience with performing hernia operations, but most cannot achieve the level of expertise as a surgeon who does only hernia surgery.


Many patients are concerned with quality of care, and outcomes – they are interested in seeking experts to handle their medical care, including hernias. Many use the internet to research their medical care, and identify expert medical providers, and are prepared to travel to accomplish this goal. More than two thirds of the patients at HIF come from outside Miami-Dade County, referred by friends or family who had surgery at HIF, or by researching their problem and finding us on the internet. Others are referred by their employers who have been sending patients here for expert care through our “fly-in” program for many years. The Hernia Institute has become well known both nationally and internationally for the quality of its work.

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