The unprecedented nationwide lockdown has seen many patients facing a long wait for their hernia surgery. As we move into winter, both COVID-19 and winter-related illnesses are set to contribute towards an even bigger backlogs of patients.
The trouble is hernias don’t just disappear by themselves. Leaving a hernia untreated can cause it to grow and worsen over time. Therefore, patients who are experiencing delays in their treatment might want to consider going private.
Here, you will discover why going private could be key to getting a hernia treated quickly, and why it matters.
How long are NHS waiting lists?
At the moment, there are significant backlogs in the NHS. Initially, routine and non-urgent appointments were delayed for three months. This was to allow the NHS to focus on COVID patients. However, even prior to the pandemic, the NHS had a backlog of 4.4 million patients on waiting lists. Around 730,000 of these patients had already been waiting for more than 18 weeks.
Hernia treatment is mostly classified as non-urgent surgery. Unless the hernia has developed complications, patients are still struggling to get the treatment they need.
Can I have my operation privately?
If you are concerned about the long waiting lists, it is possible to undergo your hernia operation privately. You may be surprised to find that it isn’t as expensive as you might think either.
Undergoing the procedure at a private hospital can also be much safer during the pandemic. This is because private hospitals have fewer patients coming in at any one time and because there are generally no emergency admissions.
Smaller hospitals are better able to protect their patients and premises from the virus, enabling treatments to be carried out safely.
You will also find that private hospitals aren’t facing the same level of backlog as the NHS. So, if surgery is needed quickly, a private hospital will have the capacity to handle it.
What can happen if I ignore my hernia?
While delaying your hernia operation for a few months isn’t a major issue, there are times you shouldn’t ignore seeking treatment.
If your hernia grows in size or becomes more painful, you should seek advice from a specialist. They will be able to determine whether surgery is needed.
When left untreated, a number of complications can occur. The hernia could cause an obstruction, or it could end up cutting off the blood supply to the area. This would be potentially life-threatening, making it extremely important to undergo surgery to remove the hernia.
Put simply, ignoring your hernia could end up causing you a lot more pain and stress than seeking treatment. So, although you may face extensive waiting times for a hernia operation through the NHS, it is possible to undergo the surgery at a private hospital.
Book a consultation today to arrange your hernia surgery with Mr Alan Woodward.