Most hernia surgeries don’t require an overnight stay in hospital

Richard Laycock 30 May 2017 NEWS

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80% of hernia repair surgeries in private hospitals could be completed as day procedures.

The majority of hernia repair surgeries could be completed as day surgeries, reveals a new study from Medibank and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

Only 20% of hernia repair surgeries conducted in private health facilities are currently completed on the same day, so the projected figure would be a marked improvement.

The study found that same day surgery for repair of inguinal, femoral and umbilical hernia is safe and effective.

“The report by RACS and Medibank highlights that day hernia repair is appropriate for most patients. By going home on the day of surgery, the patient is able to recuperate in their home in a familiar environment and is less likely to suffer a hospital infection post-surgery,” Medibank’s chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan said.

The same report found a huge variance in the cost of many medical procedures in Australia. For instance, the cost of a colonoscopy in Australia could range anywhere from $1,153 to $6,308.

Both Medibank and RACS are committed to finding ways to provide the best treatment for Australian patients.

“By working together on these types of projects to review available research and Medibank data, we are continuing to improve our knowledge about modern healthcare practices and the best ways to ensure patients get the best treatment,” said Swan.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics, inguinal hernia was the 7th most common common procedure in private hospitals (18th in public hospitals).

20 most common principal diagnoses for overnight acute separations

Principal diagnosis Public Private Total
Single spontaneous delivery 114,877 27,700 142,577
Single delivery by caesarean section 62,818 33,044 95,862
Pneumonia, organism unspecified 54,431 9,831 64,262
Pain in throat and chest 52,515 11,463 63,978
Other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 52,356 7,529 59,885
Cellulitis 44,010 7,475 51,485
Abdominal and pelvic pain 42,335 9,489 51,824
Heart failure 39,623 11,439 51,062
Cholelithiasis 39,066 18,885 57,951
Acute myocardial infarction 38,146 7,316 45,462
Other disorders of urinary system 35,773 10,347 46,120
Acute appendicitis 28,523 4,736 33,259
Atrial fibrillation and flutter 26,679 14,942 41,621
Single delivery by forceps and vacuum extractor 26,638 11,630 38,268
Complications of procedures, not elsewhere classified 25,642 9,337 34,979
Sleep disorders 19,424 61,085 80,509
Gonarthrosis (arthrosis of knee) 17,735 37,470 55,205
Inguinal hernia 15,929 20,648 36,577
Chronic ischaemic heart disease 12,748 19,184 31,932
Chronic diseases of tonsils and adenoids 11,956 20,612 32,568
Coxarthrosis (arthrosis of hip) 11,072 21,831 32,903
Other 1,928,765 776,651 2,705,416
Total 2,701,061 1,152,644 3,853,705

Source: AIHW 2017. Admitted patient care 2015–16: Australian hospital statistics.

The same study found that the average length of stay for hernia procedures (without complications and comorbidities) in private hospitals was roughly 1.2 days.

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