Q: Does it cost to repair a hernia?
A: Your cost depends on the surgery necessary to repair your particular kind of hernia. Most insurance companies allow for the procedure. For those without insurance, we offer a reasonable fee that is lower than all the Houston hospitals. We also work with Care Credit® (www.carecredit.com) which can provide financing. We also offer an FDA & IRB approved clinical study. If you qualify for the study all the expenses for Hernia repairs ae covered at NO Cost. You should call the Houston Hernia Center at Toll Free: 800.230.1992 (or 713.932.1001) to get this information.
Q: What is a hernia?
A: There are many kinds of hernias, but a typical hernia is a tear in the muscle that separates the abdomen from the groin. An abdominal organ pushes through the cavity and is felt as a bulge in the groin. When the patient lies down, the organ settles back into the abdomen. The repair is to close the hole.
Q: How long will I be in the surgical center?
A: The majority of hernia surgeries allow for the patient to go home one hour after the procedure.
Q: Does the operation take long?
A: Most procedures take under an hour to perform. The rest of the time is spent in preparing the patient for surgery, and in recovery afterward. Most leave the surgical center one hour after the procedure.
Q: What is the new Prolene Hernia System®?
A: It is a revolutionary device developed at the Houston Hernia Center and now being manufactured and marketed world-wide by Ethicon®, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson®. The Prolene Hernia System® is a mesh patch that covers the hernia on both sides. It allows for a tension-free repair that reduces patient discomfort, gets the patient back to a normal routine more quickly, and virtually eliminates surgical failures, which have been a common problem in hernia repair until now. Without using mesh, 15-20% of hernia repairs fail and need to be redone. With the new Prolene Hernia System®, in over 3500 cases, the recurrence rate is less than 0.05%.
Q: Do I need surgery straight away, or can I wait?
A: A hernia should be repaired if it is:
- limiting your lifestyle
- causing pain
- causing abdominal bloating or obstruction
- bulging through your clothes
- interfering with your job
- interfering with your sexual life
- requiring hospital visits for pain or distension
Q: What will happen if I don’t have my hernia repaired?
A: The hernia will continue to grow and may cause pain and intestinal obstruction.
Q: How will you repair my hernia?
A: Inguinal hernias are usually repaired with a small open incision directly over the hernia bulging mass using a Non-tension technique. Dr. Garza prefers the Prolene® Hernia System on Inguinal hernias. Epigastric, Ventral, Incisional or Recurrent Hernias are usually best repaired with a Laparoscope in which a small camera is inserted and the hernia patch is applied from the inside with a Non-tension technique. Dr. Garza prefers to use the Proceed® Surgical Mesh for most abdominal wall hernias.
Q: How many hernia repairs does the Houston Hernia Center do each year?
A: Dr. Garza performs over 500 hernia operations per year.
Q: How long will I need to stay in hospital?
A: It is rare for my patients to stay in a hospital. Only patients with other medical conditions may require an overnight hospital stay.
Q: Why are most hernia repairs done in an Ambulatory Outpatient Surgical Center and not in a hospital?
A: Most hernia operations at the Houston Hernia Center are performed in an Ambulatory Outpatient Surgical Center called Kirby Surgical Center. Studies have shown that the infection rate at most hospitals often exceeds 5%. The infection rate at Kirby Surgical Center is less than 1%.
Q: My hernia has been “repaired” at least 3 times. Can it be repaired so that it will not come back?
A: Most hernias that had been repaired with a Tension technique can usually be repaired with a Non-tension technique. There are a few occasions, however, in which conversion to an open is required.
Q: What are the risks of repairing hernias?
A: All surgical procedures carry risks. The most common are infections, recurrence, injury to nerves arteries and veins. The intestines could also be injured, especially in redo operations. Dense scarring or adhesions may develop after any operations in the groin and the abdomen, which can include the intestines. Freeing up the intestines may lead to injury to the intestines which can cause leaks, fistulas, abscesses and rarely death. Patients who have had multiple operations are at higher risks for these severe complications. All hernia mesh materials are known to shrink in size. If the shrinkage is too severe, the hernia defect may be exposed and the hernia may recur.