7 Tips for Smooth Hernia Surgery & Recovery

7 Tips for Smooth Hernia Surgery & Recovery

The duration of your recovery after hernia surgery depends on the type of hernia and the surgical procedure. If you have undergone laparoscopic surgery, you will be discharged on the same day.
However, if the surgery was more invasive, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days. During your recovery, it is important to rest and engage in relaxation techniques.
Depending on your progress, you may be able to resume your normal activities. We have a variety of helpful tips to aid in your hernia surgery recovery.

1. Follow Doctor's Orders

It is essential to follow your surgeon's advice. Your surgeon and doctor are experts in your recovery. They have a detailed understanding of your health history and surgery details. You should make all your follow-up appointments. Only resume normal activities once you have their clearance.

2. Reduce Swelling

After surgery, there will be some swelling. Too much Swelling can cause pain and slow recovery. You can take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen to reduce Swelling and inflammation. Cold therapy packs are applied to the area of surgery to reduce Swelling and pain. You can use them for up to 20 minutes and should not sleep with a cold pack.

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    A hernia bracelet is another option. These braces can be used to treat inguinal hernias. They can be adjusted to accommodate Swelling. Placing the mount on your surgical site immediately after surgery can be uncomfortable. Give your body time to heal before you use a brace. 

    3. Avoid Heavy Lifting

    Avoid lifting heavy objects after surgery. Your surgeon will ask you to raise at most 15 pounds. However, you must double-check the discharge orders to ensure they are clear. It would be best if you did not lift anything heavier than 15 pounds. That will put pressure on the area where your hernia was. You could break your stitches if you lift too much. 

    4. Rest

    Strenuous activities following a hernia surgery are not recommended. You can lie down for the first 24 to 72 hours after a hernia repair. It will allow your body to heal and prevent you from putting strain and stress on your surgical site. While you don't have to stay in bed 24/7, getting up and moving around is a good idea to avoid stiffness. You can still enjoy the days off work but stay moderate. 

    5. Gradually Return to Activities

    Your surgeon or doctor will give you a guideline for your recovery after surgery. The guide will include a timeline for when you can resume your normal activities. You can prevent muscle loss and flexibility by slowly moving from walking to light exercise.

    This activity will help prevent blood clots, keeping your legs moving and active. It would be best to do only some of the exercises after surgery. Please refer to the resource below for safe hernia exercises. 

    6. Consult a Physical Therapist

    You will find some movements you need clarification on as you resume your physical activities after surgery. That is where the expertise of a physical therapy professional comes in.

    These professionals have the expertise to show you what you can and can't do after surgery. These healthcare professionals will help you regain strength and flexibility by guiding you through specific movements. 

    7. Consume a Healthy Diet

    Healthy eating will benefit all areas of your body. However, it is especially important to promote fast healing after surgery. People don't realize that eating healthy will promote easy bowel movements. It is the most important aspect of hernia healing.

    Constipation can cause severe problems and put pressure on your hernia. A stool softener can help you get moving if you have constipation despite eating a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about a laxative if that fails. 

    How Long Can I Expect Recovery to Take?

    The type of hernia and surgery will affect the recovery time. Laparoscopic surgery makes small incisions to repair the hernia. Open surgery requires more extensive incisions and may involve other procedures. Recovery can take between 2 and 6 weeks. For a detailed timeline, speak to your surgeon based on the type of surgery. 

    Post Surgery Complications

    Although hernia surgery can be performed safely, there are still potential complications. These are some things to be aware of after your operation:

    • The return of the hernia
    • Pain
    • Rupture of the incisional site
    • Infection
    • Constipation
    • Tissue damage
    • Blood clots
    • Nerve damage

    Talk to your doctor immediately if you have any concerns or experience any complications.

    Preventing Hernia Surgery

    There is no surefire way to prevent hernia surgery, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk, including:

    • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts additional pressure on your abdominal wall, increasing your risk of developing a hernia.
    • Avoid heavy lifting. If you must lift heavy objects, use proper lifting techniques and bend at the knees, not at the waist.
    • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing constipation, which can also increase your risk of developing a hernia.
    • Avoid smoking. Smoking can weaken your abdominal wall and increase your risk of developing a hernia.
    • Get regular exercise. Regular exercise can help strengthen your abdominal wall and reduce your risk of developing a hernia.

    If you have a hernia, seeing a doctor to discuss your treatment options is important. In some cases, hernias can be monitored without surgery. However, if your hernia is causing pain or discomfort or if it is growing larger, you may need surgery to repair it.

    Here are some additional tips to help prevent hernias:

    • Treat constipation promptly. Constipation can put extra strain on your abdominal wall, so it is important to treat it promptly.
    • Avoid sudden movements. Sudden movements, such as twisting or bending over, can increase your risk of developing a hernia.
    • Wear supportive clothing. Wearing supportive clothing, such as a corset or abdominal binder, can help support your abdominal wall and reduce your risk of developing a hernia.

    Recovering from Hernia Surgery

    The only way to repair a hernia is through surgery. The type of surgery you had will determine the recovery time, but it should take no more than six weeks. Cold therapy packs, rest, and braces can reduce pain and allow you to return to your favorite activities. Always consult your doctor for medical advice and any questions regarding your recovery.

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