And although these calls and visits are costly in health care resources, many patients do not receive an actionable diagnosis, according to a study published in .
Colin G. DeLong, MD, and his colleagues reviewed health records of patients who underwent an open procedure for complex ventral hernia repair (cVHR) at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Penn., between January 2013 and August 2015 using the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) data available at the institution. They identified a cohort of 177 patients, 79% of whom were reviewed for pain issues at 1 year.
The study focused on postoperative pain during the first year following open cVHR. The investigators looked at how patients registered postoperative discomfort, risk factors that predicted greater utilization of the health system for pain-related complaints, and how often complaints of chronic pain resulted in an actionable diagnosis.
All postop encounters in the year after surgery were documented, including the sequence of events in response to pain complaints. In addition, the investigators recorded “instances in which a diagnosis resulted from such actions and whether the diagnosis was actionable, meaning it led to a specific intervention that was expected to alleviate the pain.”