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What to Expect After Hernia Surgery

Recovery Time After Hernia Surgery

Recovery time after surgery depends on the type of hernia you have and the type of procedure required. Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery are usually able to go home the same day and are able to walk the night of the surgery. Some patients, especially those who have had abdominal wall reconstructions or component separations, may have to stay in the hospital for a few days.

Discomfort After Hernia Surgery

Discomfort is typically handled with over-the-counter medication, although some patients may require a combination of over-the-counter and opioid-based medication.

Follow-Up Appointments After Hernia Surgery

All patients need a follow-up appointment two weeks after surgery to ensure that their pain is well controlled and there are no infections. Patients with more complex procedures may have complex bandages or negative pressure dressings that need evaluation, and we need to ensure that any surgical drains are performing properly to avoid infection. Depending on the patient’s progress, a second follow-up appointment may be necessary.

Postoperative Restrictions

After surgery, most patients will be asked to avoid lifting anything heavier than 15 pounds for the first two weeks, though more complicated patients may have differing limitations. Different patients will have individual restrictions, but in general, you should be as active as your provider permits. If you have any questions or health concerns after your surgery, contact your provider right away.

Possible Complications

Advances in technology and medical knowledge have lowered the risk of complications after hernia surgery substantially, and our experts use the latest practices and equipment to provide the safest procedures possible. However, there is still a chance of recurrence or infection after surgery. Obesity and smoking increase these risks substantially, and many hernia experts will require patients to lose weight and commit to smoking cessation before surgery, unless tissue is incarcerated or strangulated. Additionally, activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure at the hernia repair site should be avoided, as even a persistent cough or constipation can increase the risk of recurrence. Chronic pain is also a risk. Although most pain will go away with conservative management, in rare cases, further surgery may be necessary to alleviate the pain. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and regular checkups with your primary care provider will also help reduce the risks involved with any surgery.