Hernia Recovery Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Do I need to stay in the hospital after hernia surgery?
No. majority of hernia surgeries is done as an outpatient basis and patient is able to go home the same day
2. How much pain do I expect after the surgery?
The intensity and location of the pain is really depends on the type of hernia and the technique of hernia repair. If hernias are repair with minimally invasive surgery such as laparoscopic or robotic techniques, then most of the patient would expect two days of incisional pain, needing pain medication and then just mild to moderate soreness for a week. Majority of patient would not take any pain medication after the first two days.
3. What can I eat after surgery?
After surgery, it is best to start off with liquids and progress to soft foods as your body permits. Listening to your body is key when it comes to food. If you aren’t feeling well or begin to develop nausea, go back to liquids.
4. Am I able to climb stairs to get into my apartment or into my bedroom?
Walking after surgery is recommended to prevent blood clots. There is no limitation of how much you can walk, but the best thing is to walk as much as you can tolerate. You are able to climb stairs but not as an exercise.
5. My dressing or steri-strips are starting to come off. Can I remove them?
If your steri strips are coming off, you are able to remove them and use soap and water to clean the area. The dressings should last about 1-2 weeks.
6. Am I able to shower after surgery?
Yes. You may shower normally and allow the water to flow over the bandage sites and pat/dab them dry.
7. When am I able to go back to work?
Majority of patient are able to go back to light duty work after two weeks but if your job entails lifting, pushing or pulling anything over 5 pounds or straining the incisional area then it is recommended six weeks off work.
8. When am I able to exercise?
It is encouraged to walk every day immediately after surgery as much as you can tolerate to prevent developing blood clot and facilitate wound healing. You are able to do heavy lifting and strenuous exercise 6 weeks after surgery.
9. Can I drive after hernia repair?
If you are taking narcotic pain medication you are not permitted to drive. Once a patient is off the medication, they are able to resume driving.
10. What is the chance that the hernia come back?
It really depends on the type, size and location of hernia as well as the technique that hernia has been repaired. For example, inguinal or groin hernia repair has less than 1% chance of recurrence. Abdominal wall hernia repair if it`s done correctly with mesh, also has a low risk for recurrence but in general larger hernia has a higher risk of recurrence especially if it`s repaired without any mesh.
11. When can I travel after the hernia surgery?
It is the best that you do not travel for at least two weeks after surgery. majority of patient would have higher risk of developing blood clot after the surgery for two weeks and travelling during this period would increase the risk of blood colt
12. When can I play sports and resume recreational activity?
You are allowed to walk as much as you can tolerate immediately after surgery and be able to perform regular light daily activity. You may start light swimming after two weeks if your wound has healed completely. You may resume heavy exercise and activity six weeks after surgery when your hernia repair has reached its full strength.
13. When do I need to come back for follow up after hernia surgery?
The majority of patients would need to be seen and re-examined in the office two weeks and six weeks after the surgery for follow up.