ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of surgical treatment for inguinal hernia (especially in general surgery) prompted the Spanish Association of Surgeons to perform a national study to identify the most important indicators.
To analyze healthcare quality in elective surgery for inguinal hernia by evaluating scientific-technical quality, efficiency, effectiveness, and patient satisfaction.
A prospective, longitudinal, descriptive study from diagnosis to postoperative follow-up was performed. Patients who underwent surgery for unilateral or bilateral, primary or recurrent inguinal hernias were included. Exclusion criteria were emergency surgery and associated surgical procedures. Clinical indicators were selected after a literature review.
Forty-six hospitals corresponding to 16 Autonomous Communities with a total of 386 patients participated in this study. The mean follow-up was 18 months. The mean age of the patients was 56.33 years and 88.3% were male. Half the patients (50.1%) were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade I. A total of 95.6% did not comply with the protocol for preoperative tests of the Spanish Association of Surgeons. Antibiotic prophylaxis was used in 75.39% and thromboembolic prophylaxis was used in 40.04%. Ambulatory surgery was performed in 33.6%. Local anesthesia and sedation only were used in 16.36% of the patients. The most frequently used surgical procedures involved mesh repair (Lichtenstein 50%, Rutkow-Robbins 17.1%), laparoscopy was used in 5.2% of the patients, and the Shouldice technique was used in 8.5%. The mean length of hospital stay was 47.5 hours in inpatients and was 11.65 hours in patients who underwent ambulatory surgery. Notable among the complications was hematoma in 11.6%. Ninety-six percent of the patients were satisfied or highly satisfied. The most highly scored items in the satisfaction survey were those related to information, personal dealings with staff, and the staffs kindness. The lowest scored items dealt with punctuality and accessibility. Follow-up at 18 months showed a recurrence rate of 4.11% with a total recovery time estimated by patients of 7.26 weeks.
Analysis of the process revealed areas for improvement and strong points. Strong points consisted of up-to-date choice of surgical technique. The most frequently used techniques were tension-free procedures and the Shouldice technique. The following areas for improvement were identified: adherence to protocols for preoperative evaluation, increased use of ambulatory surgery, local anesthesia and sedation, appropriate use of antibiotic and thromboembolic prophylaxis in selected patients and a reduction in the length of hospital stay in inpatients. Patient satisfaction with the treatment was acceptable.
Cirugía Española 05/2005; 77(4):194-202. · 0.87 Impact Factor