After inguinal hernia surgery in Orange County, CA, it’s common for patients to wonder what to expect for recovery. The last thing anyone should do is rush and stress themselves in an effort to get back to normal right after surgery.
Here is some insight into what inguinal hernia surgery patients can expect during recovery.
- About Your Recovery
- Waking Up After Surgery
- When Can You Go Home?
- Before You Go Home
- What Pain Medication Will I Need?
- Resting at Home
- Do and Don’ts in the First Week of Recovery
- Warning Signs to Be Aware of After Surgery
About Your Recovery
Hernia surgery patients tend to recover quickly after their procedure, but times do vary per individual and the type of surgery performed. Minimally invasive surgery has the shortest recovery time. Patients can usually go home the same day. However, open hernia surgery patients and those with advanced hernias often require a short hospital stay for a few days.
Waking Up After Inguinal Hernia Surgery in Orange County, CA
After surgery, patients wake up in a recovery room where they wait for the effects of anesthesia and surgical medications to wear off. During that time, patients are monitored for discomfort and immediate complications. It is common for patients to temporarily experience nausea, pain, disorientation, dizziness, and fatigue. There may even be some throat soreness for patients who received general anesthesia during their procedure. As the effects of surgery fade, patient vitals are monitored to ensure there are no issues.
Patients also receive some light fluids and a light snack along with pain medication before they are encouraged to stand, move, and walk around.
When Can You Go Home
Patients are allowed to go home with a trusted adult driver after surgery once they can drink and void fluids and move around without disorientation or dizziness. This usually takes place within a few hours after surgery, but the timeframe highly depends on the patient’s response, their vitals, and their surgeon’s medical approval.
Before You Go Home
Prior to going home, the surgical team reviews discharge instructions with you to ensure you understand what to expect during the first weeks, wound management, symptoms to watch out for, and the necessary steps to take for any concerns that may arise. Patients also receive a copy of their post-operative instructions to refer to at home.
What Pain Medication Will I Need?
Dr. Abtin Khosravi, MD, provides patients with a prescription for pain medication before they go home after their procedure. It’s highly recommended to have someone trusted to fill the prescription as soon as possible to prevent breakthrough pain and discomfort.
Because everyone has different pain tolerances, some may benefit from using over-the-counter pain medications instead of their prescription. Patients should discuss alternative pain analgesics to use in place of their prescription meds with Dr. Khosravi. Not all medications are created equally. Some can cause excessive bleeding and are not safe for use immediately after surgery.
Prescription pain medications can also cause constipation. Patients are encouraged to drink more fluids, incorporate more fiber into their diets, and to use stool softeners as needed to prevent difficult or uncomfortable bowel movements.
Resting at Home
During the first few days, patients should rest as much as possible to allow the hernia repair site to heal and their body to recover. Quick movements, straining, and heavy lifting are to be avoided for a few weeks or until the surgeon provides clearance. Patients should use a pillow to cushion and support their abdomen when coughing, sneezing, and getting up or sitting down.
Do and Don’ts in the First Week of Recovery
The first few weeks of inguinal hernia surgery in Orange County, CA recovery are critical. This is when the risk of infection, complications, and healing impairments are highest, although they can occur at any time.
Don’t introduce moisture to the surgical site. It’s necessary to keep the incisions dry. Showering is permitted only after the first 24 hours. Baths and swimming pools should be avoided for the first two weeks. Dr. Khosravi informs patients when they can resume baths and swimming activities.
Do stay active. Walking is encouraged and necessary to help promote circulation and healing. Short distances and a light pace to prevent stress and strain to the abdomen.
Do increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fluids to make bowel movements easier to pass. Some patients may benefit from taking a stool softener or laxative and should discuss related concerns with their surgeon before use.
Don’t drive during the first week after hernia surgery. The residual effects of surgery take up to a full week to metabolize from the body and there is a risk of abdominal strain and reopening the incisions. Also, patients who take prescription pain medications should follow any driving restrictions listed on the label and their post-operative instructions and avoid operating any machinery or motor vehicles until they no longer need to use their meds.
Don’t lift heavy items for the first week or so. After which, slow movements while utilizing the knees and back to lift properly instead of the abdominal muscles is critical.
Don’t engage in sports or strenuous activities, including exercise for the first few weeks after surgery. Laparoscopic and robotic-assisted hernia surgery patients may resume these activities sooner at the discretion of their surgeon.
Do take time off from work to rest and recover. Minimally invasive inguinal hernia surgery patients often feel well enough to return to work sooner than traditional surgery patients. Keep in mind that until recovery is complete, fatigue and soreness are likely. Patients should discuss how much time they should take off to recover with their surgeon to learn when it’s best for them to return to work.
Warning Signs to Be Aware of After Surgery
Even with proper self-care and postoperative adherence, complications can occur. It’s important to listen to your body and watch for the following warning signs after inguinal hernia surgery.
- Fever 100.4 or higher
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty urinating
- Fluid or pus at the incision sites
- Inability to keep fluids down
- Increase in pain
To help prevent complications and to ensure an optimal outcome, follow-up care is necessary. Patients should attend all follow-up appointments throughout their recovery to avoid issues that could prolong their healing or lead to hernia recurrence.
To find out if inguinal hernia repair surgery is right for you, Contact Orange County General Robotic Surgery at (714) 706-1257 for a consultation with Dr. Abtin H. Khosravi.