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

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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 diagnosisPublicPrivateTotal
Single spontaneous delivery114,87727,700142,577
Single delivery by caesarean section62,81833,04495,862
Pneumonia, organism unspecified54,4319,83164,262
Pain in throat and chest52,51511,46363,978
Other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease52,3567,52959,885
Abdominal and pelvic pain42,3359,48951,824
Heart failure39,62311,43951,062
Acute myocardial infarction38,1467,31645,462
Other disorders of urinary system35,77310,34746,120
Acute appendicitis28,5234,73633,259
Atrial fibrillation and flutter26,67914,94241,621
Single delivery by forceps and vacuum extractor26,63811,63038,268
Complications of procedures, not elsewhere classified25,6429,33734,979
Sleep disorders19,42461,08580,509
Gonarthrosis (arthrosis of knee)17,73537,47055,205
Inguinal hernia15,92920,64836,577
Chronic ischaemic heart disease12,74819,18431,932
Chronic diseases of tonsils and adenoids11,95620,61232,568
Coxarthrosis (arthrosis of hip)11,07221,83132,903

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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