Optimize your hernia surgery recovery by allowing ample time for your body to heal after undergoing a ventral hernia or inguinal hernia repair. Surgical procedures inherently lead to tissue damage, triggering your body’s healing process and metabolic rate, and depleting nutrient reserves.
There is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes as your body expends excess energy to invoke all the normal immune responses. This leaves most people significantly fatigued and takes them a while to feel like themselves again.
Knowing what to expect during inguinal hernia surgery recovery or ventral hernia surgery recovery can help you to be better prepared and make your healing process go more smoothly.
How Long Is The Recovery Time After Hernia Surgery?
The typical inguinal hernia recovery time, as well as ventral hernia repair recovery time, will depend on the type of damage that is being repaired and the technique used to correct it. Other factors that influence a patient’s recovery time from hernia surgery include:
- The type and location of the hernia being repaired – Hernias that require large amounts of repair will take longer to heal.
- Patient’s age – Older patients tend to heal more slowly than younger patients.
- Patient’s overall health – Patients who are in good health heal faster than those with co-existing health conditions.
- The knowledge and hernia repair experience of the surgeon – A surgeon who is an expert in hernia repair mitigates the risks of complications.
How Common Are Ventral Hernia Repair Complications?
Surgery always carries risks, including complications. Although hernia surgery is generally safe, it can be more challenging with larger hernias. Ventral hernias, in particular, can worsen if not treated promptly. These hernias have a higher rate of complications, mainly due to incisional hernias. Incisional hernias are common after abdominal surgery, affecting 10-25% of patients. Older, higher weight, smoking, and diabetic patients are at a higher risk for developing incisional hernias.
What Can I Expect During My Inguinal Hernia Surgery Recovery?
Every patient will have a different recovery scenario that will be based on the extent and technique of their hernia repair so the guidelines given below are given in general.
- On surgery day, arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for approximately 24 hours. Patients may feel tired and their judgment and reflexes may take time to fully recover. While some patients find relief with Tylenol or Motrin, if you’re using opioids for pain relief after ventral hernia repair with mesh, refrain from driving until you’ve stopped taking them.
- For optimal post-surgery recovery, rest and follow aftercare guidelines. Apply ice to the hernia area regularly. Avoid work and family commitments to reduce discomfort and swelling. Get help with childcare and pet care if needed.
- After hernia surgery, avoid strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects (over 10 pounds) for about three weeks. Perform light activities at home and work, but be careful not to strain the abdominal muscles. Healing and support from mesh repairs usually take three weeks.
- Patients can start gentle cardiovascular exercises in the third week of recovery, avoiding excessive strain. Gradually, they can resume regular activities with approval from the surgeon.
Can Inguinal Hernia Exercises Help Prevent Their Occurrence?
Yes, hernias form due to weakness in the abdominal muscles. Strengthening exercises for the abdomen and core can help prevent hernias, and some exercises can aid in post-surgical hernia recovery. For safe exercises tailored to your situation, consult your surgeon.
Giving yourself sufficient recovery time after hernia surgery is crucial, regardless of the type of surgery performed. Rushing into normal activities can lead to complications requiring additional procedures.
For more information on recovering from inguinal hernia surgery or ventral hernia repair, contact IBI Healthcare Institute today. Our team of experts performs hernia surgeries in our advanced surgery center in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Call or reach out to us online to learn all about hernia surgery and recovery.