The way to lower the cost of hernia surgery is by having surgery performed as soon as possible. I give my patients an estimated cost for surgery as well as explain to them the expected length of the recovery period. I tell them that if they wait, they risk the hernia getting larger and possibly becoming strangulating—a condition that causes additional damage. A larger hernia and a strangulated hernia require a bigger and more expensive operation. Lastly, the recovery period of the larger or strangulated hernia is longer. It may be a difference of two hours in a surgery center instead of one week in the hospital. Or one week off work instead of six to eight weeks off work.
Another piece of advice I give is to have the surgery in an outpatient surgery center instead of a hospital where the costs will be higher. When your doctor tells you that you have a hernia the clock begins to tick. You should have your hernia surgery within six weeks of the diagnosis—no later. Hernia surgery is best performed by a hernia surgeon who specializes in that condition. You are less likely to have a complication, which also can be expensive and unpleasant.
So, to sum up, the best way to save money on the cost of a hernia is to get surgery performed by a hernia specialist in a surgery center soon after you have been diagnosed. For more specific information, please contact our office.
-David Albin, MD