How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery

  • posted by Admin |
  • October 15, 2021

Umbilical hernia surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that repairs abdominal hernias that are unresponsive to therapy, massage, and other medical treatments. Most umbilical hernia repair surgeries are done on an outpatient basis. The risk of complications is low. However, sleep is one of several factors that can affect the outcome of surgical umbilical hernia repair.

umbilical hernia

Sleep disturbances are common after surgery and can lead to complications during recovery. Use this sleep after umbilical hernia surgery guide to enhance rest, comfort, and results during recovery.

The Importance of Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Repair

Sleep is necessary for optimal physical and mental health, especially after hernia surgery. Good sleep habits can make recovery easier and faster. Poor sleep hygiene can increase discomfort and lead to long-term complications. Upon discharge home, patients should assess their sleep routines and make adjustments that enable them to sleep and rest comfortably while they heal from umbilical hernia repair.

Umbilical Hernia Surgery Sleep Hygiene

Soreness and pain upon movement and during sleep are common during the first few weeks of recovery. To prevent further injury and trauma to the hernia repair site, avoid sleeping flat on the sides and back. Use simple breathing, moving, and lifting techniques to avoid disturbing the abdominal muscles and hernia repair site as much as possible.

Establish a bedtime routine. Avoid caffeinated and bloat-causing foods and beverages several hours before going to bed to minimize fluid retention and abdominal distress during sleep. Other beneficial sleep hygiene tactics include adjusting the temperature in the sleeping area so it’s between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit, listening to relaxing music or soundscapes, reading, or engaging in low-stress activities that calm and soothe the mind to enable the body to relax and rest. Good sleep hygiene enhances the body’s healing response. Eight to nine hours of sleep each night is ideal for optimal recovery.

Getting In and Out of Bed After Umbilical Hernia Surgery

Place pillows at the head of the bed to provide enough support for the upper body to rest on comfortably. Hold a pillow tightly to the abdomen while bending and moving to avoid pulling and straining the abdominal muscles. If possible, have someone help with getting in and out of the bed. When assistance is unavailable, rely on proper movement mechanics to prevent pain and additional strain on the umbilical hernia repair site.

To get in the bed, sit in the middle of the mattress and plant both feet firmly on the ground in front. Knees should be at a 90-degree angle with the floor. If necessary, use a stool or rail for support. Slowly lay on one side while raising the legs to guide them onto the bed. Roll over while holding the legs to your back. Slowly stretch out the legs and body until comfortable enough to sleep. Avoid sleeping on the sides to prevent drainage issues with the hernia repair site.

To get out of bed, reverse the process. Roll onto one side and extend the legs out towards the floor. Slowly raise the upper torso, using arms and elbows until sitting upright. Use your arms to support your body while rising out of bed. Avoid standing until your legs are steady enough to support your full body weight. The goal is to minimize using the abdominal muscles to prevent soreness and discomfort while they heal.

Umbilical Hernia Surgery Sleep Positions

sleeping with herniaThe umbilical hernia repair site is extremely sensitive and delicate. Elevate the upper body 30-45 degrees to prevent shallow breathing and additional stress on the abdominal muscles and surgical area. Resting in an elevated position also helps reduce pain and stiffness. Use pillows to maintain comfort, support, and proper elevation during sleep. Avoid laying on the sides and certain sleeping positions unless otherwise directed by the doctor. Consider using an abdominal binder or support belt to compress and support the surgical area and reduce pain. Additional sleep aids that can improve sleep quality and comfort after umbilical hernia surgery include recliners, pillows, pillow wedges, and adjustable beds.

Surgical Umbilical Hernia Repair Recovery

Rest is extremely important in the first few weeks after surgery. The pain, swelling, and bruising of the hernia repair site can cause fatigue, lower pain tolerance, and increase pain levels, all which can develop into a cycle that interferes with the body’s ability to recover quickly. Do not rush to resume normal activities in the first few weeks after umbilical hernia surgery. Rest often! In rare cases, insomnia can develop and make it difficult to get enough rest. Patients may benefit from the use of over-the-counter sleep aids and medicines but should consult with the doctor prior to use. Take all medications as directed to prevent breakthrough pain and discomfort that can make it difficult to fall and remain asleep.

Surgery is an effective solution to repair abdominal hernias and bulges. To learn more about umbilical hernia surgery and post-operative care guidance, please call us.

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