Factors associated with conversion from day-case to in-patient elective inguinal hernia repair surgery across England: an observational study using administrative data. (2024)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Joyner, J; Ayyaz, F M; Cheetham, M; Briggs, T W R; Gray, W K.

Hernia. 2024 Feb 12.

PURPOSE: Elective primary inguinal hernia repair surgery is increasingly being conducted as a day-case procedure. However, some patients planned for day-case surgery have to stay in hospital for at least one night. The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with conversion from day-case to in-patient management for elective inguinal hernia repair surgery. METHODS: This was an exploratory retrospective analysis of observational data from the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset for England. All patients aged >= 17 years undergoing a first elective inguinal hernia repair between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2022 that was planned as day-case surgery were identified. The exposure of interest was discharged on the day of admission (day-case) or requiring overnight stay. The primary outcome of interest was 30-day emergency readmission with an overnight stay. For reporting, providers were aggregated to an Integrated Care Board (ICB) level. RESULTS: A total of 351,528 planned day-case elective primary inguinal hernia repairs were identified over the eight-year study period. Of these, 45,305 (12.9%) stayed in hospital for at least one night and were classed as day-case to in-patient stay conversions. Patients who converted to in-patient stay were older, had more comorbidities, and were more likely to have bilateral surgery and be operated on by a low-annual volume surgeon. Post-procedural complications were strongly associated with conversion. Across the 42 ICBs in England, model-adjusted conversion rates varied from 3.3% to 21.3%. CONCLUSIONS: There was considerable variation in conversion to in-patient stay rates for inguinal hernia repair across ICBs in England. Our findings should help surgical teams to better identify patients suitable for day-case inguinal hernia repair and plan discharge services more effectively. This should help to reduce the variation in conversion rates.