Prevalence and Cost Analysis of Chronic Pain After Hernia Repair: A Potential Alternative Approach With Neurostimulation.
OBJECTIVES: Chronic pain (CP) affects a significant number of patients following hernia repair, ranging from 11 to 54% in the literature. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, overall costs, and health care utilization associated with CP after hernia repair. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective longitudinal study was performed using the Truven MarketScan® data base to identify patients who develop chronic neuropathic posthernia repair pain from 2001 to 2012. Patients were grouped into CP and No Chronic Pain (No CP) cohorts. Patients were excluded if they 1) were under 18 years of age; 2) had a previous pain diagnosis; 3) had CP diagnosed <90 days after the index hernia repair; 4) had less than one year of follow-up; or 5) had less than one-year baseline record before hernia repair. Patients were grouped into the CP cohort if their CP diagnosis was made within the two years following index hernia repair. Total, outpatient, and pain prescription costs were collected in the period of five years prehernia to nine years posthernia repair. A longitudinal multivariate analysis was used to model the effects of chronic neuropathic posthernia repair pain on total inpatient/outpatient and pain prescription costs. RESULTS: We identified 76,173 patients who underwent hernia repair and met inclusion criteria (CP: n = 14,919, No CP: n = 61,254). There was a trend for increased total inpatient/outpatient and pain prescription costs one-year posthernia repair, when compared to baseline costs for both cohorts. In both cohorts, total inpatient/outpatient costs remained elevated from baseline through nine years posthernia repair, with the CP cohort experiencing significantly higher cumulative median costs (CP: $51,334, No CP: $37,388). The CP diagnosis year was associated with a 1.75-fold increase (p < 0.001) in total inpatient/outpatient costs and a 2.26-fold increase (p < 0.001) in pain prescription costs versus all other years. In the longitudinal analysis, the CP cohort had a 1.14-fold increase (p < 0.001) in total inpatient/outpatient costs and 2.00-fold increase (p < 0.001) in pain prescription costs. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates the prevalence of CP after hernia surgery to be nearly 20%, with significantly increased costs and healthcare resource utilization. While current treatment paradigms are effective for many, there remains a large number of patients that could benefit from an overall approach that includes nonopioid treatments, such as potentially incorporating neurostimulation, for CP that presents posthernia repair.
Elsamadicy, AA; Ashraf, B; Ren, X; Sergesketter, AR; Charalambous, L; Kemeny, H; Ejikeme, T; Yang, S; Pagadala, P; Parente, B; Xie, J; Pappas, TN; Lad, SP
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