What is Hernia Repair Surgery? Hernia Repair Surgery is where a physician repairs an area of abdominal tissue where intestines may be pushing through. About 75% of all hernias are classified as inguinal hernias which is when an organ protrudes through an opening or weakness of the abdominal wall in the groin area between the abdomen and the thigh. Hernia surgery may be a standard open procedure through an incision large enough to access the hernia or a laparoscopic procedure performed through tiny incisions, using an instrument with a camera attached (laparoscope) and a video monitor to guide the repair.
|Miami, FL Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,600 - $4,400|
|Atlanta, GA Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,600 - $4,400|
|Houston, TX Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,600 - $4,300|
|Dallas, TX Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,500 - $4,100|
|Washington, DC Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,800 - $4,900|
|Phoenix, AZ Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,950 - $5,300|
|Chicago, IL Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,600 - $4,400|
|Philadelphia, PA Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,750 - $4,800|
|New York, NY Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$1,850 - $5,000|
|Los Angeles, CA Hernia Repair Surgery Cost Average||$2,250 - $6,200|
|Laparoscopic Hernia Repair Surgery - Groin or Abdomen Cost Average||$2,775 - $27,500|
|Open Hernia Repair Surgery - Groin or Abdomen Cost Average||$4,400 - $35,300|
|Norton Southwest Medical Center||Louisville , KY||$1,150 - $4,200|
|Frankfort Regional Medical Center||Frankfort , KY||$1,350 - $4,300|
|Maria Parham Medical Center||Henderson , NC||$1,500 - $4,600|
|Surgicenter of Mansfield||Mansfield , OH||$1,300 - $4,700|
|Pine Grove Ambulatory Surgical||Russell , PA||$1,250 - $4,500|
|Defiance Regional Medical Center||Defiance , OH||$3,700 - $17,300|
|Martha Jefferson Outpatient Surgery Center||Charlottesville , VA||$1,150 - $4,200|
|Vincennes Surgery Center||Vincennes , IN||$1,250 - $4,600|
|Integris Bass Baptist Health Center||Enid , OK||$1,900 - $6,000|
|Christus Santa Rosa Surgery Center||San Antonio , TX||$1,150 - $4,300|
|Knoxville Ambulatory Surgery Center||Knoxville , TN||$1,150 - $4,100|
|Physician Surgery Center||Rolla , MO||$1,150 - $4,300|
|Turtle Creek Surgery Center||Tyler , TX||$1,150 - $4,300|
|Natraj Surgery Center||Porterville , CA||$1,750 - $6,400|
|Surgery Center at Pelham||Greer , SC||$1,250 - $4,600|
|The Surgery Center at Durant||Durant , OK||$1,100 - $4,000|
|Surgicare at Cross Pointe||Evansville , IN||$1,250 - $4,600|
|The Surgery Center of Cleveland||Cleveland , TN||$1,150 - $4,100|
|Journey Lite of Southern Ohio||Cincinnati , OH||$1,300 - $4,700|
|Rutland Regional Medical Center||Rutland , VT||$1,650 - $5,100|
|Outpatient Endoscopy and Surgi Center||Saint Clair Shores , MI||$1,300 - $4,800|
|Mountain River Birthing and Surgery Center||Blackfoot , ID||$3,200 - $14,100|
|Bloomington Surgery Center||Bloomington , IN||$1,250 - $4,600|
|United Surgical Associates||Cottonwood , AZ||$1,250 - $4,500|
|Maine Medical Center||Portland , ME||$950 - $3,100|
|Ocean Springs Surgical and Endoscopy Center||Ocean Springs , MS||$1,150 - $4,100|
|Whitman Hospital and Medical Center||Colfax , WA||$4,300 - $20,300|
|Passavant Area Hospital||Jacksonville , IL||$3,600 - $11,300|
|Decatur County Memorial Hospital||Greensburg , IN||$3,900 - $17,100|
|Mifflin County Community Surgical Center||Lewistown , PA||$1,250 - $4,500|
What Is a Hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue bulges from its normal position through a hole or weakness in a wall of tissue. Most of these happen in the lower body or abdomen, though they are possible in other areas of the body — the brain for example. Approximately 75 percent of hernias are inguinal hernias: an organ — sometimes fatty tissue — protrudes though a weakness or hole in the abdominal wall, between the abdomen and the thigh.
What Is an Inguinal Hernia?
The inguinal hernia refers to a hernia in the groin region. In this case, intestinal or fatty tissue bulge through the inguinal canal. (The inguinal canals run vertically down the abdominal wall and contains the ligaments of the uterus in women and the spermatic cords in men.) An inguinal hernia may present as a visible bulge under the skin. It may or may not cause any symptoms.
What Is an Umbilical Hernia?
In the womb, the umbilical cord connects the mother and fetus. The umbilical cord runs through a small hole in the child’s stomach muscles. After the child is born, the opening usually closes on its own. In the case of an umbilical hernia, the hole doesn’t completely close and an organ or other abdominal tissue presses through the weakness or opening around the belly button. Umbilical hernias are generally painless and close on their own 90 percent of the time. The child will need treatment if the hernia hasn’t closed by the time the child is four years old.
What Is a Hiatal Hernia?
Hiatal hernias occur when the stomach bulges through a hole in the hiatus or diaphragm (the muscle wall between the abdomen and the chest cavity). There are two types of hiatal hernias:
Sliding hiatal hernia: The area where the stomach and esophagus attach slides up through the hiatus.
Paraesophageal hernia: Far less common, the paraesophageal hernia occurs when part of the stomach bulges through the hiatus. In this case, the stomach and esophagus remain their proper locations. This hernia can be quite dangerous, as the stomach can become “strangled,” which means the stomach loses its blood supply. There are often no symptoms to this type of hernia. Those with symptoms may experience heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
What Is an Incisional Hernia?
An incisional hernia usually occurs after surgery for an unrelated issue. The incision is not properly closed and tissues protrudes through the unclosed area.
Most incisional hernias occur after a surgery in or around the abdomen. Vertical incisions are at higher risk than others. These types of hernias are also more likely if there have been two (or more) surgeries using the same incision.
There are a few things to reduce your risk of incisional hernia:
Avoid strenuous activity.
Treat constipation to alleviate difficult bowel movements.
Be careful when coughing or sneezing.
Limit any activity that may put pressure on the wound.
Use proper wound care.
Limit or avoid sexual activity.
Reduce or eliminate smoking.
What Is a Femoral Hernia?
Femoral hernias occurs when tissue protrudes through the wall of the femoral canal. (In contrast to the inguinal canal, the femoral canal conveys the femoral structures — femoral nerve, femoral sheath, femoral artery, femoral vein, and deep inguinal lymph nodes — from the abdomen into the upper thigh.) This often presents as a bulge near the upper thigh or groin. Women are more likely to suffer from a femoral hernia than men.
What Is an Epigastric Hernia?
Epigastric hernias occur when fat pushes through a weakness in the wall of the abdomen. A patient may have more than one at a time and often will not be aware they have them, though they can cause some upper belly pain. Typically epigastric hernias are small and only occur between the top of the navel up to the breast bone.
What is a Bilateral Hernia Repair?
Used to treat bilateral hernias (the presence of a hernia on both sides), this method can be done laparoscopically and may not require a second set of incisions. Both hernias are treated at the same time.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hernia?
The symptoms of a hernia can mimic a number of other issues — some more serious than others. If you have any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. The signs you may have a hernia include the following:
Swelling in the abdomen or groin. (The swelling may go away when lying down.)
Abdominal pain when coughing.
Constipation or bowel obstruction.
Pain while standing for long periods.
Burning sensation in abdomen or groin.
Blood in the stool.
Discomfort in the abdomen or groin when lifting or bending over.
Abdominal pain that may feel like a stomach ache or indigestion.
If you experience the following, seek medical attention immediately, as these symptoms may indicate an incarcerated hernia and can lead to organ strangulation.*
You can’t get the hernia to go back in.
Unable to have a bowel movement.
Unable to pass gas.
*Organ strangulation occurs when the blood supply to the affected organ is cut off or significantly diminished. When an organ is “strangulated,” it loses its supply of oxygen which can lead the organ to die. If not treated, this can lead to permanent organ damage or even death.
There are two types of hernia repair surgery: Open and laparoscopic. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, though at times studies will contradict each other.
What is Open Hernia Repair?
In an open hernia repair surgery, the surgeon will make a single incision. The bulging tissue or organ is placed back inside the muscle wall, the muscle tissue is repaired, and the skin is closed. In many hernia repairs, a small piece of plastic mesh is used to repair the defect in the muscle tissue.
Open hernia repair is most often used for larger hernias. These typically cost less due to the more expensive and additional equipment required in laparoscopic procedures.
What is Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
The surgeon will make several small incisions (three to five depending on exact location and severity). Then he or she will inflate the abdomen with air to increase visibility of the organs. Then, a lighted scope, called a laparoscope, is inserted through the incision. Like open surgery, the bulging tissue is pushed back through the tear or weak area, which will then be covered with mesh to strengthen the wall.
Laparoscopic hernia repairs are typically preferable with bilateral hernias and recurring hernias.
What Can Cause a Hernia? Many hernias are unavoidable, especially in babies or young children. Luckily, there are a few tips for adults to prevent them. Because hernias are often caused by an opening or weakness the abdominal wall or pressure in the abdominal cavity, you should avoid certain conditions or activities:
Chronic coughing — often a symptom chronic lung disease or heavy smoking.
Straining during urination or bowel movement.
Fluid in the abdominal cavity.
Those with a family history of hernia may also be more likely to get them. Pregnancy can also cause hernias.
Unfortunately, some of the causes are out of our control; it’s not like we can choose new parents to avoid certain diseases or conditions — though we sometimes might want to. But many of these causes are preventable, which means we are in control!
How Do I Prevent a Hernia?
Luckily, there are a few things we can do to prevent hernias.
Stretch and warm up before athletic activity or weight lifting.
Strengthen abdominal muscles with core-strengthening exercises.
Get sufficient rest after intense exercise, especially weight lifting.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one way to lower your chances of hernia and a whole host of other health problems. Not only does obesity put pressure on your organs, it can also weaken the abdominal wall. A healthy diet is crucial in hernia prevention.
Though what’s considered a healthy diet can change overnight — one study says that eggs are bad, and the next day another study comes out in favor of eggs — there are a few tried and true tips to keep you healthy. Eat…
Fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Beans and nuts.
Foods high in trans fats (some of these may surprise you).
Cakes, pies and cookies, particularly those with frosting.
Creamy frozen drinks.
French fries and potato chips.
Some types of alcohol.
High-calorie coffee drinks.
Are Men More Likely to Get Hernias than Women?
Inguinal hernias are the most common with approximately 600,000 repairs occurring each year. Because men are more likely to develop weakness in the inguinal canal, they are more likely to get this type of hernia. In fact, hernias are five times more likely in men than women. Of course, this is not to say that women cannot get hernias. Femoral hernias, though less frequent in general, are more likely to occur with women, particularly after childbirth.
Is Hernia Repair Surgery Dangerous?
The practice of medicine is not an exact science and no guarantees can be made for your procedure. All medical procedures carry some risk of potential complications. While rare you must be made aware of these risks.
Any operation may be associated with complications. The primary complications of any operation are bleeding and infection, which are uncommon with laparoscopic hernia repair.
There is a very low risk of injury to the urinary bladder, the intestines, blood vessels, nerves or the sperm tube going to the testicle.
Difficulty urinating after surgery can occur and may require placement of a catheter or tube to drain the bladder after surgery. You should ask your surgeon about ways to prevent this from occurring before your operation.
Bruising and swelling of the scrotum, the base of the penis, and the testicles is not uncommon with open and laparoscopic repair. This will gradually resolve on its own in the vast majority of patients.
Any time a hernia is repaired it can come back. This long-term recurrence rate is low in patients who undergo repair by an experienced surgeon. Your surgeon will help you decide if the risks of hernia repair are less than the risks of leaving the condition untreated.
It is important to remember that before undergoing any type of surgery — whether laparoscopic or open — you should ask your surgeon about his/her training and experience with the operation.
Do Hernias Go Away on Their Own?
An untreated hernia will not get better on its own, though symptoms can remain stable for months or even years.
Do All Hernias Hurt?
No, some hernias present no symptoms whatsoever.
What Is the Recovery Time for Hernia Surgery?
Of course, the less invasive laparoscopic procedure allows you to resume your normal activities more quickly. Most people who have had laparoscopic surgery can return to work within two or three days, as long as the work is not physically taxing. Most doctors suggest letting your pain level guide the intensity of your activities. With open surgery, you may have to wait a week before returning to work.
Hernia surgeries are the collection of services from three primary providers: the physician, the facility, and the anesthesia group. All will have their own costs. Typically all materials costs are paid to the facility (e.g. hernia repair mesh) and are usually included in the facility cost, which — like all costs — should be confirmed in advance of your procedure.
The facility cost is typically the largest and the one that varies the most. Facility fees can vary from $1500 to over $10,000 or more for the same procedure! General anesthesia, depending on length and type of procedure, can cost between $500 to 3,500. Physicians’ fees can also vary from approximately $500 to $2,500 or more. In rare cases, your physician may order a lab study of a tissue specimen found during surgery. This may cost an additional $100 to $500.
The choice of provider for your hernia repair will directly impact your costs — even if you have insurance. Study after study from groups both inside and outside the healthcare industry have shown that cost does not correlate with quality. So paying more for your hernia repair surgery does not mean you are receiving better care.
Uninsured patients are very strongly advised to negotiate all pricing in advance and be sure it is documented. Many providers will offer 30 – 80 percent discounts off of their “Charges” for uninsured or self-pay patients. That’s a medical term for their List Price. Depending the patient’s circumstances, they may qualify for additional patient assistance. (See our Patient Assist Program for a program that can save you 80 percent on hernia repair surgery.)
Insured patients are not likely to be able to negotiate any additional discounts. Your insurance company has pre-negotiated “contracted rates” with each provider. The portion of those rates that you will pay depends on many different variables such as your deductible, co-pays and co-insurance. It will also vary depending on if the provider is considered “In Network” or “Out of Network.” Contact your insurance company in advance and ask for their assistance determining your costs. For more information on hernia repair pricing in your area, please see our Medical Pricing Directory.
Not only do different physicians and facilities offer varying price structures, but prices can vary greatly from region to region. Sometimes traveling to a different city can save thousands, even when travel costs are taken into account. Please contact our Patient Assist Concierge Team for more information on how to shop for hernia repair surgery.
What Happens During a Hernia Repair Examination/Consultation?
Before you schedule your procedure, your physician will perform a physical examination also called a consultation or consult, including diagnostic tests when necessary. Make sure you share all pertinent health information with your doctor before the surgery, such as:
Medications (including vitamins).
Medical conditions, such as heart and lung conditions and bleeding disorders.
Pregnancy (or if you think you might be pregnant).
The consultation may occur the day of your procedure or in advance. Patients who travel to another city may prefer to have their consult on the same day as their procedure to prevent multiple trips to the provider. In these cases, you may be required to submit more information to the provider in advance of your consult and procedure. Not all patients may be eligible for a consult on the day of their procedure.
Can Hernia Surgery Be Done as Outpatient? (What is Same Day Surgery?)
Surgeons can perform most hernia repair surgeries on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient goes home the same day. This convenient and cost effective model is usually performed at facilities dedicated to this type of care called Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), also known as Outpatient Surgery Center or Same Day Surgery Centers.
If you have certain health conditions, your doctor may schedule an inpatient surgery, which will require an overnight stay in the hospital. These conditions include but are not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Patients with dementia or other mental health issues who cannot follow post-operative instructions may also have to have inpatient surgery.
On rare occasions, there are complications such as high or low blood pressure or excessive bleeding during the procedure that will cause a patient scheduled for outpatient surgery to spend the night in the hospital. Adverse reactions to anesthesia may also require a patient be admitted to the hospital for overnight observation. In these cases, the patient is transferred to the hospital from the ambulatory surgery center.
What Types of Diagnostic Tests Might Be Taken During My Hernia Consult?
Before surgery, your doctor may order diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the hernia and rule out any other possible conditions. The most common of these tests is an ultrasound. Physicians may also use CT scans or X-rays. MRIs are rare and more expensive.
Ask your doctor about the cost of the scan before committing to it, especially if they plan to give you the scan in their office. An ultrasound should not cost more than $75 to $200. You may be able to save money by going to a dedicated imaging facility instead of the facility recommended by your physician. Please see our Medical Pricing Directory for more information.
Your doctor may also perform an endoscopy — inserting an endoscope directly into the body cavity where the hernia is expected to be. This is a much more expensive test but may be necessary.
Doctors may also order blood work to test for white blood cell levels, which can detect necrotic tissue, infection or internal blood loss.
Your doctor may also do a pH test or take a stool sample.
How Do I Prepare for Hernia Repair Surgery?
Your doctor will give you instructions before the procedure that will let you know what you should and should not do in preparation for the surgery. Read them carefully and follow them to the letter.
You will most likely need to fast for eight hours — or after midnight — before the procedure. You will also need to arrange for a ride after the surgery. Fill any prescriptions you may need before the surgery.
What Happens During Pre-Op before Hernia Surgery?
The provider will require that you sign an Informed Consent document. This is your confirmation that you understand what the procedure entails and its risks, and that you agree to proceed.
After signing the informed consent form, you will undergo a brief physical exam by the anesthesiologist, who will ask you about the medications you are taking and ask if you’ve had adverse reactions to anesthesia in the past. A nurse will then administer an IV for fluid and medication during and after the surgery. You will also most likely receive a sedative to help you relax.
There are two types of anesthesia most often used:
General anesthesia: Patients often receive both intravenous and inhaled medications to produce reversible unconsciousness. General anesthesia also creates a state of temporary amnesia, analgesia, muscle paralysis and sedation. This is the most common form of anesthesia used in hernia repair surgery.
Conscious sedation (less common): Often administered without an anesthesiologist, this method sedates the patient and prevents pain. Patients remain conscious and can return to normal activities much quicker than with general anesthesia. This method is used mostly used for minor procedures, such as setting broken bones, diagnostic procedures, and dental surgery.
What Happens in Post-Op After Hernia Surgery?
After surgery, you will be taken to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) or recovery room for observation. The amount of time you will spend in the recovery room depends on how your body handles the surgery and the type of anesthetic used, but one to three hours is common. The IV line remains in place until you can tolerate clear liquids. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable, and you are alert, the doctor will discharge you. You will feel groggy, possibly confused, and/or nauseous so it is IMPERATIVE you arrange a ride home.
What Happens When I Get Home form Hernia Surgery?
Before you are discharged, you will be given instructions about care for your incisions, limits on activities, and what you should do to aid your recovery. If you notice any of the following, call the number the hospital gave you:
Bleeding or worsening pain.
Recovery from Open Surgery: You will likely go home the same day, and you will be encouraged to take short walks. You may be given a list of breathing and leg exercises. Eating and drinking will depend on how well you tolerate it. Sticking to clear liquids may be necessary the first day. You can return to light activity after three weeks, but you should wait on strenuous exercise for six weeks.
Recovery from Laparoscopic Surgery: You will likely go home the same day. You may feel mild to moderate pain for up to two weeks, though it usually only lasts a few days. You will be able to walk the day of surgery. You can shower the day after surgery, but wait to take baths or swim for five days. You can usually resume strenuous exercise after two weeks or when you’re completely pain free. Most patients return to work within three to seven days.
How to Care for My Hernia Repair Incision?
Your doctor will most likely use stitches, staples, or tape strips to close the incision. It is important to keep the incision clean and change the dressing according to your doctor’s orders.
To clean the incision:
Gently wash the site with soap and water.
Don’t soak or scrub the wound.
Air-dry or pat the area with a clean, dry towel.
To reduce risk of infection, keep the area dry for the first two days. This may require sponge baths.
The following may be signs of infection. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these:
Yellow or green discharge (take note of any odor).
A change in size of the incision.
Color change around the site.
Bleeding that soaks through the dressing.
How do I Change a Hernia Repair Incision Dressing?
To minimize scarring and avoid infection, you’ll need to change the dressing on your incision.
Lay out your supplies — gauze pads, medical gloves, surgical tape, and scissors.
Wash your hands thoroughly and put on gloves.
Remove the old dressing.
Check for infection.
Place gauze pad over the site and secure all sides with tape.
Discard used dressing and other supplies in sealable plastic bag.
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