Hernia. 2022 Dec 26. doi: 10.1007/s10029-022-02707-6. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To estimate the annual volume and cost of ventral hernia repair (VHR) performed in the United States.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) and the Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample (NASS) for 2016-2019. Patients over the age of 18 who underwent open (OVHR) or minimally invasive ventral hernia repair (MISVHR) were identified. NIS procedural costs were estimated using cost-to-charge ratios; NASS costs were estimated using the NIS cost-to-charge ratios stratified by payer status. Costs were adjusted for inflation to 2021 dollars using US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
RESULTS: On average 610,998 VHRs were performed per year. Most were outpatient (67.3% per year), and open (70.7%). MIS procedures increased from 25.8% to 32.8% of all VHRs. Inpatient OVHR had significantly higher associated cost than MISVHR [$35,511 (34,100-36,921) vs. $21,165 (19,664-22,665 in 2019]. Outpatient MISVHR was more expensive than OVHR [$11,558 (11,174-11,942 MIS vs. $6807 (6620-6994) OVHR in 2019]. The estimated cost of an inpatient MISVHR remained similar between 2016 and 2019, from $20,076 (13,374-20,777) to $21,165 (19,664-22,665) and increased slightly from $9975 (9639-10,312) to $11,558 (11,174-11,942) in the outpatient setting. The estimated cost of an inpatient OVHR increased from $31,383 (30,338-32,428) to $35,511 (34,100-36,921), while outpatient costs increased from $6018 (5860-6175) to $6807 (6620-6994). VHR costs decreased slightly over the study period to a mean cost of $9.7 billion dollars in 2019.
CONCLUSION: Compared to 2006 national data, VHRs in the United States have almost doubled to 611,000 per year with an estimated annual cost of $9.7 billion. A 1% decrease in VHR achieved through recurrence reduction or hernia prophylaxis could save the US healthcare system at least $139.9 million annually.