Inguinal Hernia Repair Discharge Instructions
- Your activities will be limited for the next few days. Lie around and read or watch TV. Ice and elevate as instructed by your nurse.
- Walking about is fine, but should be limited to indoors the first few days. Walking upstairs is ok. In general, you cannot damage your hernia repair. If you are over active you will be sore, and will likely bruise more.
- Many patients return to office-type employment in a few days. Others, whose jobs require more physical activity, may require a week or more. Heavy lifting tends to be uncomfortable during this time.
- There is no absolute period of time for weight restriction or an absolute weight restriction. A few days after surgery, short walks in a park or around the neighborhood might be comfortable.
- Light exercise can begin, if comfortable, within 7-10 days. Full activities are generally resumed within 3-4 weeks.
Care of Incisions
- A clear skin adhesive called Dermabond covers your incisions. You may shower 24 hours after surgery; you do NOT need to cover the incisions.
- A mild amount of bleeding can occur at the incision sites and can generally be treated with gentle pressure using a gauze sponge. On occasion, old dark blood can ooze through the stiches.
- It is not uncommon to have discomfort after hernia surgery. This may be accompanied by some swelling. Men may see swelling and experience discomfort in the scrotal area. This will gradually subside.
- Your Recovery Room nurse will show you how to place cold packs on, and around, the incisions. Placing a cold pack where the hernia was located before surgery is helpful. For men, elevating the scrotum on a bunched-up towel is helpful.
- You may feel some discomfort in the shoulder area. This is normal and should subside within a day or so after surgery.
- You will be given a prescription for pain medication before you leave the surgery center. Most patients use only Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Side effects from pain medicine (narcotic) are common and include nausea and constipation. Treatment includes stopping the pain medication and continuing Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed.
- Bruising is by far the most common concern after hernia surgery. Bruising often appears after a few days and can be seen around the incisions or extending down around the genitals.
- In men, swelling and bruising may involve the scrotum and around the testicles. This is common. Elevating the scrotum for a few days after surgery, when sitting or lying, should be done to limit bruising.
- On the day of surgery, a light bland diet is advised. Soup, toast, and crackers in small portions are examples. Full meals are discouraged the day of surgery.
- Resume your normal diet the day after surgery, provided you’re not having nausea or feel constipated. It is normal for your appetite to be slightly diminished. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
- You may become constipated from the anesthesia and/or pain medication. You may use a stool softener and/or laxative (such as Senokot) if this becomes a problem.
- The Recovery Room nurse will make sure you void after hernia surgery. Often, the urinary stream or amount of urination is diminished after surgery. This is especially true in men and typically returns to normal in a few days. Call if you are unable to urinate and feel like you have a full bladder.
- Continue your regularly scheduled pre-operative medications. If you take a blood thinner, discuss timing of resuming this medication with the Recovery Room nurse at Mile High, or with Dr. Macdonald’s office.
Call our office should you experience any of the following: Difficulty passing urine, excessive bright red blood on bandages, fever greater than 100 or excessive pain.
- Return to the office for your post op check as instructed by Dr. Macdonald’s scheduler. If you do not have an appointment already, please call for an appointment the day following your surgery. Call our office at any time should a question or concern arise.