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Cost of hernia surgery

The average cash price for hernia surgery care is $5,424 at a surgery center versus $7,787 at an outpatient hospital. While a surgery center may offer fewer complimentary services, and may not have the full range of support services that outpatient hospital provides, it may still be worth the (30%) you'd save when comparing the cost of hernia surgery performed at an outpatient hospital. Read More

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Average cash price in U.S.

A common hernia surgery at surgery center facility in U.S. includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

General surgeon visit provider fee

First time visit Standard
1 $125

Provider fee to repair groin hernia for patient 5+ years old

Complex Standard
1 $728

Provider fee to remove infected skin and tissue

First 20 sq cm or less Standard
1 $79

Facility

Surgery center fee to remove infected skin and tissue

Standard Standard
1 $202

Surgery center fee to repair groin hernia for child 5+ years old

Standard Standard
1 $1,722

Equipment

Implantable mesh

Standard Standard
2 $1,972

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 2 Standard
1 $134

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
231 $462
Total average cash price   $5,424.40

A common hernia surgery at outpatient hospital facility in U.S. includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

General surgeon visit provider fee

First time visit Standard
1 $125

Provider fee to repair groin hernia for patient 5+ years old

Complex Standard
1 $728

Provider fee to remove infected skin and tissue

First 20 sq cm or less Standard
1 $79

Facility

Outpatient Hospital fee to remove infected skin and tissue

level 2 Standard
1 $400

Outpatient Hospital fee to repair groin hernia for child 5+ years old

Standard Standard
1 $3,887

Equipment

Implantable mesh

Standard Standard
2 $1,972

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 2 Standard
1 $134

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
231 $462
Total average cash price   $7,787.40

When weakness in the borders of the inguinal area causes the canal to widen, it can be enough to allow abdominal fat or intestinal structures to bulge through. This is deemed an inguinal hernia. It’s all a matter of tone and tissue integrity.

The failure of the inguinal ring to remain narrow can be caused by a congenital weakness—a genetic cause—which happens in males more than females. Other causes include anything which challenges the normal tone of the inguinal ring’s restrictive closure. This can happen with:

  • straining against it, such as with constipation,
  • increased internal abdominal pressure from obesity,
  • chronic coughing with sudden spikes in internal pressure, weakening the ring over time, and
  • pregnancy, when hormones naturally soften ligaments.

Inguinal hernia can be suspected from the symptoms of inguinal pain, but healthcare providers can feel the bulge by simple exam. Beyond that, imaging such as ultrasound or CT scan can be useful.

Everyone has inguinal hernias to some degree—they’re born with them. Only when they widen or weaken does it become a problem because intestines can be forced through. Even that may not be a serious problem because your intestines can sometimes fall back through it where they belong (“reducible”). However, things will not get better (the hernia will not cure itself), so this can lead to contents becoming trapped (“incarcerated”); this may lead to  death of bowel tissue, which is a life-threatening emergency.

A hernia is treated with surgery. It cannot “heal” on its own. Once the area is weak enough to cause the symptoms of pain, burning, or other discomforts related to protruding fat or intestines, surgery is done not only to relieve these symptoms, but to prevent danger to the intestines, too.

There are two main techniques used to treat inguinal hernias:

1. Laparotomy (an incision over the inguinal area is made to access the point of weakness)

2. Laparoscopy (“minimally invasive surgery” with scopes and tiny incisions)

These procedures can take between 30 to 60 minutes and stitches with or without reinforcing mesh are used to re-strengthen the point of weakness (block the opening). The most frequent complication is hernia recurrence. Although mesh has had problems—many have been recalled—using FDA-approved mesh offers the lowest chance of recurrence.

Hernia surgery is usually an out-patient procedure—at most, an overnight stay. The pain consists of soreness and sharp stabs (when the muscles are used), but this goes away quickly—by half each day after. The real importance of recovery is in making sure there is no abdominal straining against the site for 6 weeks. This includes straining on the toilet, physical exertions beyond just walking, and perhaps even sexual activity. While these restrictions are no fun, they’re temporary.

About the hernia surgery Average Cash Prices

This procedure is most commonly performed at either a surgery center or an outpatient hospital.

Surgery centers, also known as ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), are independent, licensed medical facilities that are governed by distinct regulatory requirements compared with a hospital. Procedures performed at an ASCs are often less expensive than when they are performed at an outpatient hospital, but they typically offer fewer complimentary services, and may not have the full-range of support services that a hospital provides.

Outpatient facilities are outpatient departments or clinics that may be within or next to a hospital, but is owned and run by the affiliated hospital. These facilities can perform surgical treatments and procedures that do not require an overnight stay. Procedures performed at an outpatient hospital are often more expensive than when they are performed in an ambulatory surgery center, but outpatient hospitals may offer more complimentary and support services for patients because they are connected to the hospital system.

Your actual costs may be higher or lower than these cost estimates. Check with your provider and health plan details to confirm the costs that you may be charged for a service or procedure. You are responsible for costs that are not covered and for getting any pre-authorizations or referrals required by your health plan. Neither payments nor benefits are guaranteed.

The site is not a substitute for medical or health care advice and does not serve as a recommendation for a particular provider or type of medical or health care.

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* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R. Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L. Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

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