Have you been booked for a hernia repair but you are worried about the cost of hernia surgery in Nigeria?
How much is hernia operation in Nigeria?
A Hernia is a protrusion of an internal organ (especially the intestines) from the cavity in which it is enclosed through an abnormal or weak opening in the wall of the cavity. It is a very common condition encountered in surgical practice. Hernia is the commonest cause of intestinal obstruction in Nigeria where because of ignorance, cost of surgery and limited hospital facilities, patients may wait for a long time to have their hernia repaired and many do not seek elective repair.
Common types of hernia in Nigeria
A hernia is named according to it anatomical site; according to part part of the body it is located. Common hernias in Nigeria include:
- Inguinal hernia: accounts for 80-92% of hernias. Presents as swelling in the groin. Can easily get complicated. Commoner in men than women.
- Umbilical hernia: common in children. Protrusion through the umbilicus. It is genetic and very common among blacks
- Incisional hernia: it is a protrusion through an abnormal/poorly healed surgical scar. Very common in Nigeria because of our high rate of laparotomies (open abdominal surgeries).
- Femoral hernia: commoner in women. Not common in Nigeria.
Causes of hernia in Nigerians
The causes of hernia could be congenital (born with it) or acquired. The acquired causes/risk factors are more and include anything, task or disease conditions that will increase the abdominal pressure like chronic cough, chronic urinary obstruction from urethral stricture or enlarge prostate, chronic constipation, heavy manual work, weight lifting, and frequent pregnancies.
It is best prevented but once a hernia has occurred, the only and best treatment option is surgery. In medical practice, hernia treatment is the work of general surgeons and I can tell categorically that Nigeria has one of the best general surgeons in the world.
Now, what is the cost of hernia surgery in Nigeria? Check the headers below..
Usually, most persons with hernia are able to push the swelling back into the containing cavity with their hands without difficulty and most hernias are not painful or tender to touch. A hernia is complicated if you are not able to guide it back in, is tender to touch, has ruptured, is strangulated or has led to constipation and abdominal pain (intestinal obstruction). A complicated hernia is a medical emergency. Further delay in seeking medical help can lead to death. It is expensive to operate on a complicated hernia: the cost of complicated hernia surgery in Nigeria is around #120,000-#150,000 naira in LUTH, UBTH, state hospitals and federal medical centres.
In private hospitals hospitals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Benin- city the cost of surgery on a complicated hernia is as high as #160,000- #180,000 naira.
You want to pay less for a hernia repair? Do it now. Don’t wait for it to become complicated.
Is it an elective hernia operation?
An elective surgery is an operation at the patient’s or doctor’s convenience. It is a planned non-emergency procedure. It often times done for uncomplicated hernia. Elective hernia operation is quite cheaper and cost effective than emergency. In most hospitals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan for example, surgery on uncomplicated hernia is around #70,000- #80,000 naira. Some hospitals may collect as “low” as #60,000 in some cases. The amount of money you will pay for inguinal hernia operation will therefore be less if you decide to do the surgery as soon as you are diagnosed.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Location and Your choice of hospital
You will pay more for hernia surgery in commercial cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Anambra, and Ibadan compared to other states. Hernia surgery in Lagos for example, can be as high as #200,000 naira depending on the hospital. Hernia repair in private hospitals is on the high side compared to government centres.
Tests adds to the cost of hernia surgery in Nigeria
Though the diagnosis of hernia is mainly from history taking and physical evaluation, your doctor may request you do further tests like abdominal scan (#3,000 naira), complete blood count (#3,000 naira), blood grouping and cross-matching (#2,500 naira). These tests are used by your doctor to confirm her/his diagnosis, and ensure your blood volume is optimal for the surgery. It also makes provision for transfusion during the hernia operation. The cost of these tests are included in the original price quoted for herniorrhaphy in most federal and states hospitals but private hospitals will tell you to pay for these investigations separate from the money you will pay for the surgery.
Other ancillaries that affect cost of hernia surgery in Nigeria
Some hospitals especially in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Ibadan, Nsukka, and Benin-city will request that you pay for admission, drugs, and other consumables different from the cost of the operation itself. Because of the bleeding associated with the surgery and with most other surgeries, most centres will request you pay for 1-2 pints of blood in case you might need transfusion in the theatre. A pint of blood is between #6,000-#8,000. The money will be refunded to you if eventually the blood was used.
Hernia foundation in Nigeria/Free hernia surgery in Nigeria
Not everybody can afford the cost of hernia Surgery in Nigeria. To minimize the cost of hernia surgery in Lagos and other states in Nigeria, Graceland Hernia Foundation located at Lekki/Epe expressway Lagos offers free and low cost hernia surgery for the very poor and needy Nigerians. Recently Shonowo Hospital performed free hernia operation for about 200 Lagosians.
This article is open to suggestuions and contributions.