Heeding the postoperative instructions after hernia surgery is an essential part of your care. Although each person is different, there are some general guidelines including things to do and avoid after hernia surgery.
The Recuperation Period And What To Do
First and foremost you should rest after surgery for at least 24 to 48 hours as it’s important to let the area of any incisions heal. Drink plenty of fluids and eat very lightly the first night home from the hospital. Resume your normal diet within the first couple days as tolerated.
Expect some pain or discomfort at first and take any prescribed medications. You can also take tylenol for mild or moderate pain as needed.
Expect some swelling at the surgical site and perhaps bloating. You can use ice packs or frozen vegetables on the site up to 15 minutes per hour for the first couple of days as needed.
Check with Springfield General Surgery about how to keep your surgical site clean and showering. If there is gauze you may need to keep it dry for several days.
As for activity, walking is good exercise after hernia surgery and aids in healing. Climbing stairs is permitted in most cases if you feel competent to do so. Depending on which type of surgery was performed, you may be permitted to drive. This is usually within a few days after laparoscopic surgery and within 2 weeks after open surgery.
Returning to work varies with the type of surgery performed and it ranges anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks to 4 to 6 weeks. For the most part it is based on your own ability and comfort level.
What To Avoid After Hernia Surgery
Immediately after surgery you should not take a bath or submerge your incision.
Activity restrictions until you see Springfield General Surgery include the following:
- No strenuous activity
- No lifting anything over 20 pounds
- No sexual activity
- No driving (especially while you are taking narcotic pain meds)
- No hot tubs, swimming, or soaking for 2 weeks.
After you see your physician some of these restrictions may be lifted while others may be extended.
Signs Of Complications After Hernia Surgery
While hernia surgery is generally considered safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it can come with risks and potential complications. In some cases, complications may arise following hernia surgery, which can be alarming and potentially life-threatening, call Springfield General Surgery if you experience the following symptoms:
- Fever > 101 degrees
- Redness and warmth that spreads at the site
- Excessive swelling
- Bleeding and drainage from the incision with a yellow or green color
- Pain that is getting worse
Contact Springfield General Surgery if you have questions about hernia repair surgery.