On average, it costs $400 for Silvestre's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
A hernia is a condition in which abdominal contents (intestine) bulge through a weak area in the muscles of the stomach wall, usually in the area of the groin. Hernias cause the following symptoms: a bulge in the area on either side of the pubic bone, a burning, gurgling or aching sensation at the bulge, pain or discomfort in the groin area, especially when bending over, coughing or lifting, a heavy or dragging sensation in the groin, and weakness or pressure in the groin.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Small hernias are usually asymptomatic. However, they tend to enlarge over time and they can become very painful, even debilitating. Also, there is a risk if not repaired that the intestinal contents of the hernia may become “choked” by the abdominal muscles. This is called a strangulated hernia, and it can be life threatening. Surgery prevents this life threatening complication and also restores mobility and eliminates pain.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Hernias happen all around the world. In Guatemala, access to the simple surgical treatment is limited. Therefore, hernias are often suffered with for years and years and may be quite large at the time of treatment.
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
Treatment for this condition is straightforward. It is a simple surgical procedure which often does not even require an overnight hospital stay.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
This treatment improves lives. It allows young people to get back to earning a living and caring for their families. It prevents life threatening complications of hernia, such as a strangulated hernia.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
This condition is very treatable. This is a one time surgery which, in the majority of cases, permanently cures the issue. As with any surgery, risks include infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
Most of the national hospitals have surgeons who can perform this procedure. In fact, our medical partner often uses these surgeons to have procedures done for their patients. The catch is that the hospitals and other institutions who perform these procedures may claim they are free but then make up the cost of the procedure by charging patients for other expenses. Therefore, most of the time, patients still cannot afford to have the procedure done. Our medical partner works with patients to pay for the necessary testing needed before the procedure, and to subsidize surgical fees, transportation, and lodging, so that patients can get on with their lives.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
The alternative for patients who cannot afford to pay is many months, or even years, of trying to get the procedure done through the free public system, spending countless days and often a great deal of money in the process.