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Hernia Surgery Recovery: Tips and Guidelines For Optimal Healing

Hernia Surgery Recovery Tips and Guidelines For Optimal Healing

Hernia is a pretty common health problem in India. According to reports, over 2 million people in India develop hernias every year.

Thankfully, hernias are harmless and painless in most cases. But at times, they can snowball into a more severe problem that can result in a bulge which can cause pain and discomfort.

A hernia refers to a lump (occurs due to some wear in the peritoneum or the presence of a hole there) that forms in or around the abdominal or groin area, when you happen to cough strenuously or lie down. Even though it is a not a serious issue and can be pushed back, the chances of it reappearing again are extremely high.

Do you feel a bulge in the abdominal or groin region?

If so, then you could be having hernia. You need to immediately get-in-touch with the best hernia surgeon in Bangalore.

TIPS AND GUIDELINES

After the surgical treatment of inguinal hernia, your groin will feel sore and uncomfortable for some time. To help you obtain relief from the same, you will be administered painkillers.

Generally, recovery after inguinal hernia or umbilical hernia treatment will vary depending upon the intensity of your hernia and the kind of treatment you have had. In case, you had umbilical hernia surgery laparoscopic, then you would be able to head home the same day. On the other hand, if you had treatment of inguinal hernia, or a more invasive surgery, then you may need to stay for a few days in the hospital. Either way, you will require the assistance of someone to take you home safely.

Here are some tips and guidelines that you need to adhere to after the umbilical hernia surgery laparoscopic.

ASSISTANCE OF AN ADULT

For the first 24 hours after the hernia treatment, an adult should stay with you, if you experience any problems.

In case, you are still in pain after reaching your home, then you need to take painkillers as advised by the best hernia surgeon in Bangalore at M H Surgery.

  • Follow your hernia surgeon’s instructions regarding care for your wound, bathing, and hygiene.
  • Constipation can cause pain around the area of the wound, if you happen to strain on the toilet. You can reduce the risk by eating plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables; and high-fibre food like brown rice, pasta, and whole-meal bread; AND drinking plenty of fluids like water. You can additionally take a mild laxative, based on your hernia surgeon’s advice.
  • Apply mild pressure on the area of your wound with your hand or a small pillow. This will help to make coughing, movement, and sneezing, more comfortable between sitting and standing.

TAKE CARE OF SWELLING

After hernia treatment, some amount of swelling can be expected which is normal. However, if the swelling turns out to be beyond normal, then it can be painful and the recovery process can be slow.

In such a scenario, after consulting your hernia surgeon, you can

  • Use over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen, etc. This will help to bring down the overall swelling and inflammation.
  • Place ice-packs on and near the surgical area for about 20 minutes. This will help to bring down the intensity of pain as well as swelling. But avoid sleeping with an ice-pack.
  • Use hernia brace, if you have had treatment for inguinal hernia. They help to put counter-pressure against the hernia; and also help to control swelling. However, it is advisable to apply the brace only after taking your hernia surgeon’s advice. It is best used after the surgical site has healed properly.

GET ENOUGH REST

Avoid going into strenuous activities soon after the hernia treatment. Instead, opt out of all kinds of activities for 3 days, that is 72 hours. This will give your body enough time to heal and also avoid straining the surgical site.

However at the same time, avoid being on complete bed rest and instead walk around now and then. This will help to prevent body stiffness and formation of blood clots.

AVOID LIFTING HEAVY ITEMS

Lifting of heavy items or objects heavier than fifteen pounds must be avoided at all costs, after the treatment. ELSE, lifting of heavy items or objects will put pressure on your surgical incision that closed the hernia. This can cause the stitches to come apart and fall down. Just follow the hernia surgeon’s instructions regarding lifting of items.

ADHERE TO A HEALTHY DIET

Generally, after any kind of surgery, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding diet among patients. They are caught between what kind of foods should be avoided; or are they major restrictions in diet to be faced?

Eating healthy food after surgery helps to facilitate quicker healing and also easy bowel movements. The later part comes into focus for those patients who strain from constipation. This puts stress on their hernia incision and potentially create serious health issues. Some patients take stool softener of laxative on own. That can be dangerous. Hence, it’s better to consult the hernia surgeon on this aspect.

  • No major dietary restrictions are there after a hernia treatment. Additionally, there are no restrictions on taking a non-vegetarian diet or meat.
  • Adhere to a diet that includes high protein and fiber foods. They help to rebuild the tissues and muscles. This will facilitate quick muscle strength recovery as well. Vegetarians can take alternative sources of proteins or even take a protein supplement.
  • Ensure to keep constipation at bay. It’s advisable to make sure that the stool is soft. For this to happen, intake of fiber-rich food with adequate fluids is recommended

Overall, dietary advice will be different for different patients. It’s better to consult the hernia surgeon on this. This will help to ensure a specific dietary plan for your case.

RESUMPTION OF ACTIVITIES

In case, your hernia treatment was carried out under general anesthesia which puts you to sleep during the surgery, your reasoning and coordination abilities could get affected for a short period of time.

WHAT NOT TO BE DONE?

Avoid

  • Intake of alcohol or operating any kind of machinery for at least 48 hours after the hernia surgery.
  • Lifting of heavy items or objects; and other strenuous activities for four to six weeks.
  • Driving until you feel normal without feeling pain or discomfort of any kind. This can be at least one to two weeks after the hernia treatment. In case of laparoscopic surgery, it could take longer. To avoid danger of any kind, it is better to consult your hernia surgeon on this.
  • Having sex immediately. However, you can resume having sex when you feel better and feel like it.
  • Swimming or taking a bath or getting into a hot tub for at least two to three weeks after surgery. Any water related activity will increase the risk of the incision becoming infected. Instead follow what your hernia surgeon has advised you on this.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

  • Diet involving liquids as soon as you can. Then slowly go for small meals.
  • Gentle exercise like walking, mild stretching, etc. They help to facilitate quicker healing process; and also prevent loss of muscle strength and flexibility. They also help to prevent blood clots by keeping your legs active and blood moving normally.
  • Light activities like shopping, after one to two weeks.
  • Stay well-hydrated. Drink at least six to eight cups of fluid in a day.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that do not rub the incision area.
  • Follow the prescribed pain medications as advised by your hernia surgeon.

Aside from the above, don’t panic if you feel any pain in the right shoulder. This can happen due to the gas accumulation during surgery that can cause residual pain in the region. Try to lie flat for some time. This will help to let the pain go away.

In addition to the above, your hernia surgeon will give you a handout detailing what you can do and what you cannot do, with a guide to your recovery. The guide will mention the specific timeline on when you can get back to normal activities.

You can return to normal activities overtime once you feel normal without any kind of pain. Likewise, you can return to work after one to two weeks, although you could require more time to return to work involving heavy manual labor.

TALK TO A PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Once you start engaging in physical activities, there could probably be certain activities involving movements that can leave you wondering if they are safe or not.

This is where enlisting the expertise of a physical therapist will help. As professionals trained to teach what should be done and what not after surgery, they will guide you through certain movements to help keep you safe and feel normal. This will later help you to regain your strength and flexibility that you had lost due to hernia.

POST-HERNIA TREATMENT COMPLICATIONS

Even though, treatment for inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia treatment, and umbilical hernia surgery laparoscopic, are considered to be safe surgeries, there could be certain complications arising out of the surgery for some patients.

They could range from constipation to blood clots, nerve damage, infection, incisional site rupture, pain, and tissue damage. In some cases, there could even be a return of the hernia problem again.

HOW LONG WILL BE THE RECOVERY PROCESS?

The recovery process will be different for different patients, depending upon on kind of hernia surgery undertaken.

Those patients who underwent umbilical hernia surgery laparoscopic have small incisions to facilitate the hernia repair. Similarly, those who undergo treatment for inguinal hernia or open surgery have large incisions and often also undergo other surgical procedures.

The recovery process can take anywhere from two to six weeks. To avoid issues on the same, talk to the best hernia surgeon in Bangalore at the best hospital for hernia surgery, M H Surgery, for a more specific timeline for recovery.

WHEN TO CONSULT BEST HERNIA SURGEON IN BANGALORE?

You need to consult the hernia surgeon, if you

  • Feel that something is not right. Then go by your instinct and get in touch with the hernia surgeon; OR
  • Have had improper bowel movements in four days; OR
  • Develop any of the symptoms after the surgery, ranging from fever of 101 temperature or more; to vomiting or diarrhea that lasts for more than a day; feel severe shortness of breath; incision looks infected or becomes suddenly warm, or darken in color; or oozes a bad discharge smell; OR
  • Develop severe shortness of breath; OR
  • Feel numb in your limbs; OR
  • Increase in pain.