From the Journals

Unscheduled visits for pain after hernia surgery common, costly



After surgery for complex ventral hernia repair, a significant number of patients make unscheduled calls or visits to the clinic or ED because of pain. 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 The American Journal of Surgery.

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.”