Post Groin Hernia Op Advice from Hernia Clinic Wessex
What to expect
With our pioneering technique hernia surgery is usually pain-free in the recovery period.
By having your hernia surgery under local anesthetic we are blocking the bodies ability to know that you have had an operation. This minimizes the bodies reaction to the operation which under full anesthetic manifests as pain, stiffness and feeling unwell. It is expected that with simple pain relief medication you will remain comfortable.
The length of time you will need to take simple pain relief is related to the amount of bruising. Local anaesthetic repairs have a quick recovery.
No matter how large the bruise some simple pain relief and up to several few weeks will fix this.
Bruising is complicated. There are a lot of factors that influence the extent of bruising. Including:
- Size and complexity of the hernia
- How the hernia is repaired – open or keyhole
- Being over weight
- Medical conditions that affect bone marrow and tissue healing
- Regular medication to thin your blood
- Age and general frailty
We nearly always advice to leave the wound alone and wait for it to resorb by itself over time
The other significant factor involved in recovery is mobility. Early mobilisation after surgery is key – particularly with older generation.
As a patient you can choose to have your operation under local anaesthetic at Hernia clinic Wessex and to follow our post surgery advice information.
You will have 3 layers of dressing:
The bottom layer (layer 1) called butterfly sutures need to stay on for 12 days.
The middle layer (layer 2) is a flat waterproof dressing. You can shower with it on and then pat it dry. It may last 12 days but you might also need to change it once or twice. The fewer times it is changed the better as it reduces the risk of a minor wound infection.
The top layer (layer 3) is called a pressure dressing and is there to apply firm pressure to the wound to reduce bruising. We try and leave this in place for 48 hours. You can take it off at home yourself leaving the 2 dressing layers beneath in place.
The best way to manage pain relief is to take it before the pain develops or becomes present enough to reduce your mobility or make you feel unwell. If you don’t actively try to control the pain hernia surgery can be painful. If you do actively manage this then recovery from hernia surgery should be reasonably straightforward. To maximise your post surgery comfort and recovery we advise that before the anaesthetic wears off you start taking the pain medication prescribed to you on your discharge before leaving hospital.
Take 2 paracetamol capsules regularly 4 times a day. This medicine has few/no side effects and is safe in nearly everyone.
Take 2 ibuprofen capsules, regularly to start with, three times a day. Always with with food. Some patients can experience problems with this medicine as it can cause stomach irritation and affect kidney function. However, taking it for 72 hours with food should be safe and it is a very effective painkiller especially if taken with paracetamol.
This is a powerful painkiller with a long list of side effects. Only take it if needed. You can take it up to 4 times day with the paracetamol and ibuprofen as instructed above. It can cause constipation and headaches and affect concentration. You made need a laxative with it and we will send you home with one.
Returning to day to day activity
There are no limitations on return to activity as long as you follow this rule: If it hurts (more than just a bit uncomfortable) stop doing it and try again tomorrow.
For driving the DVLA states that you must be able to do an emergency stop. It is illegal to drive a car if you cannot do this. Some insurers have time limits in the small print of their contracts so it can be worth calling them to make sure you are covered to drive again. On average after hernia surgery expect not to drive for 10 days.
You can shower or wash at a basin from day 1. To have a bath or swim the wound needs to be healed and dry. There are no sutures to see, if you can feel an end it will disappear in a few weeks. At 12 days when you can remove all the dressings the wound should be dry and can be cleaned.
Most people can walk a mile and carry a small bag of shopping within a week.
Sport enthusiasts should return to exercise carefully after 14 days postsurgery. It will be best to try aerobic exercise like running, swimming and exercise classes first and for a smaller distance or duration than you usually managed. Build it up again as comfort allows.
Cycling can be uncomfortable for several weeks.
If lifting weights start with light weights that are comfortable and increase the number of repetitions before lifting heavy weights at a low repetition. In short try and use common sense and follow the first rule stated above.