Prospective patients are seen at the Columbia Hernia Center for a consultation, which includes a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, and detailed discussion with the doctor. If patients have had prior abdominal or hernia surgery, they are asked to bring their operative reports and copies of any abdominal CT scans that were performed prior to their consultation. If the doctor recommends a hernia repair and the patient wishes to proceed with scheduling surgery, a date is chosen and pre-operative testing is ordered (blood, EKG, and chest x-ray when appropriate). Testing is usually accomplished in about 1 hour at the Hernia Center, but it may also be done near the patient’s residence if that is more convenient. Instructions are given regarding management of standing medications, diet, and bowel preparation, when necessary.