Media releases

May 31, 2017

NO NEED TO SLEEP ON IT: MOST HERNIA SURGERIES CAN BE DONE AS DAY PROCEDURES

New research by Medibank and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has revealed that up to 80 per cent of hernia repair surgeries in private hospitals could be done as day procedures, without the need for an overnight hospital stay.

Currently, only 20 per cent of hernia repair surgeries in private hospitals are same day, meaning more patients could be recovering comfortably at home sooner.

The new report found strong evidence that same day surgery for repair of inguinal, femoral and umbilical hernia is safe and effective.  In addition, Australian and international guidelines recommend day surgery for most patients undergoing inguinal hernia repair surgery, providing that suitable patient assessment is undertaken and appropriate post-surgery care is available.

Medibank’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said the findings could improve the outlook for many hernia patients, with more than 4,200 Medibank customers having hernia surgery each year.

“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,” Dr Swan said.

“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.”

RACS Surgical Director of Research and Evaluation Professor Guy Maddern said clinical practice guidelines and published data from a range of countries support the findings.

“70 to 80 per cent of hernia repair patients can be safely released home on the day of surgery. Although a change in our clinical practice and current culture may take some time and effort, a shift could be made by enhancing patient-doctor communication and education to increase patients’ satisfaction, ensuring available resources for day surgery, and creating supportive communities and policies,” Professor Maddern said.

“RACS will be encouraging surgeons across Australia to take note of the findings and identify ways to increase Australian private hospital day hernia rates from the current 20 per cent to the 70 to 80 per cent recommended in the report.”

The median patient age for Medibank customers having a hernia procedure is 63.  More of Medibank’s hernia repair surgery data is available in the joint Surgical Variance Report for General Surgery at http://www.surgeons.org/media/25242159/surgical-variance-report-2017-general-surgery.pdf

The hernia report is available at http://www.surgeons.org/policies-publications/publications/surgical-variance-reports/

Medibank data: Percentage of patients that stayed in hospital overnight. In 80 per cent of the hospital separations for hernia procedures, the patient stayed in hospital for at least one night.



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