6.3 Follow up
The hospital /medical practice treating you is very interested in following up the well-being of their patients once the initial treatment has been successfully completed. It is therefore very important that you let them know about all problems occurring after surgical treatment of your hernia. These could be complications or complaints, manifesting during the first weeks or months after the operation, or a recurrence manifesting perhaps only years after the original operation. Only if the hospital /medical practice that treated you knows in the long term whether your operation has proved a success can it in the future offer treatment of an optimal quality.
If your hospital /medical practice is participating in the Herniamed quality assurance study, you will be followed up at intervals of one year, five years and ten years. This means that both the general practitioner and patient will receive a letter requesting them to provide information on the long-term results of the operation – in particular about any complications or recurrence of disease. The letter includes a questionnaire where yes/no questions are used to query all important details. You can quickly answer the questions by checking (ticking) the boxes and return the questionnaire by post or fax to the practice / hospital. In that way the time you need to invest in follow up will be kept to an absolute minimum.
Since people are living increasing longer, are often overweight or undergo more operations, the number of hernia cases (including incisional hernias) will continue to rise in the coming years. As someone affected by this condition, we kindly ask you to please help improve treatment for all hernia patients by taking part in the Herniamed Quality Assurance Study, including follow up. To do so, your signed consent is needed in all cases. You will be given a form to that effect by your hospital / practice. Already at this stage, we would like to cordially thank you for your cooperation!