Dr. Earle, Director, New England Hernia Center - Associate Professor of Surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine, obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Arizona State University in 1986, and his MD degree from the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his general surgical training at The State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Brooklyn in 1995, and fellowship training at the Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery, affiliated with New York Medical College in Westchester County, New York in 1997. He was then hired as the Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at SUNY, and subsequently recruited to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA in 1998 as the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery. During his 17 years in Springfield, Dr. Earle founded and directed a Minimally Invasive Surgical Fellowship, was Director of the Esophageal Physiology Laboratory, and served on the board of the Baystate Medical Education and Research Foundation. Dr. Earle has been nationally and internationally active in research, device development, and clinical care, where approximately 90% of his practice was focused on hernia repair, acting as a referral source for the Northeastern United States. Dr. Earle has been involved in a variety of roles in national surgical societies, including Chairman of the Guidelines Committee of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and two terms as a Board Member of the Americas Hernia Society. He has been a longstanding Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, and member of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He has been involved in hundreds of peer reviewed scientific and clinical journal articles, scientific meeting presentations, invited lectures, and faculty for surgeon courses around the globe. He has written over a dozen book chapters in the field of minimally invasive surgery and hernia repair, and recently published his own textbook of Natural Orifice Surgery.
Karl A. LeBlanc, MD earned his medical degree from LSU Medical School in Shreveport, where he also completed his internship and residency in general surgery. He also received his Masters of Business Administration from LSU. He is Board Certified in general surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). He is also a member of the Society for Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS), Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), and is one of the founding members and past presidents of the Americas Hernia Society (AHS). He is a Master Surgeon for Laparoscopic Surgery and has been active in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery since its origin. He helped found the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship in Baton Rouge and served as the Fellowship Director from 2004 - 2020. Dr. LeBlanc has authored eight textbooks on minimally invasive, robotic, and hernia surgery and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical literature. Dr. LeBlanc specializes in hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction surgery. He also has special interest in surgery for weight loss, gastroesophageal reflux and foregut disease.
Dr. Novitsky is internationally known for his expertise in advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery as well complex inguinal and ventral hernia repairs. Driven by a determination to improve outcomes for the millions of patients who undergo hernia surgery each year, he has focused intensively on research to advance surgical technique and improve tissue responses to surgical mesh. He is perhaps best known for pioneering techniques for minimally-invasive ventral hernia repair and open abdominal wall reconstructions; the procedure known as transversus abdominis muscle release (TAR), which he first described in 2006, has become widely adopted worldwide since he published three-year results in 2009. His current national leadership roles include chairmanship of the Practice Advisory Committee, Americas Hernia Society; membership on the Guidelines Committee of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES); the Value Analysis Initiative of the SAGES Hernia Task force; American Hernias Society Board of Governors, and others. Dr. Novitsky earned his medical degree at Albany College and completed residencies in General Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center and University of Massachusetts, Worcester, followed by fellowships in minimally invasive surgery at University of Massachusetts and the Carolinas Medical Center. He was Chief of Laparoscopic Surgery for four years at University of Connecticut Health Center prior to his move to Cleveland in 2011.
Dr. Vedra Augenstein is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in hernia and esophageal surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction and robotic surgery. She serves as the associate professor of surgery at Atrium Health General & Complex Abdominal Surgery, a facility of Carolinas Medical Center. She is a committee leader for both the Americas Hernia Society and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. She is involved in surgical research and publishes and lectures nationally and internationally on various surgical subjects. Dr. Augenstein is passionate about individualized patient care which starts with preoperative preparation and is followed by the most current evidence-based surgical procedures. She chose her specialty because of her desire to perform minimally invasive surgeries, which allow patients to recover sooner and have fewer complications. She received the Atrium Health Theresa Flippo-Morton Mentor of the Year Award and has been named a Top Doctor by Charlotte Magazine. Additionally, she has earned multiple awards from the American College of Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the Americas Hernia Society. Dr. Augenstein received her medical degree and completed her residency at the University of Louisville. She then completed her fellowship at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center.