You have just undergone surgery to repair a hernia. This involves making three small incisions in your lower abdomen in order to gain access to your hernia or hernia. From the inside of your abdomen, the hernia is pulled back out of the inguinal canal (the region in which hernias are formed) and a large piece of mesh is placed inside your abdomen in order to repair the hernia defect.
If your prescription was not mailed to your pharmacy before surgery, upon discharge from the hospital, you will be given a prescription for pain medication. Because pain medication can be constipating, be sure to drink lots of fluids and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It will also be helpful to take a stool softener such as Colace, Metamucil or Citrucel once or twice a day, if you are constipated.
If you are unable to have a bowel movement following surgery, a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia may be used. Being up and about after surgery is also helpful in regulating bowel function. To minimize pain when you are moving about, support your incision with a small pillow or rolled up towel. Sleeping with a pillow under or between your knees will relieve stress on the incision area.
Your incisions are closed using a number of sutures below the skin surface. When you remove the outer dressing (see bathing instructions below for when to remove the dressing), you will find a special ribbed tape covering the incisions. The ribbed tape will fall off on it’s own.
You may find that your scrotum or penis will become discolored, and you may have swelling in the region of your hernia. This does not mean your hernia was not repaired. This swelling and discoloration is normal and will resolve over the next several weeks to months.
Some patients have discomfort due to the mesh that may persist for several months. This is normal and will resolve as your body adjusts to the plastic mesh.
You are asked to keep the outer dressing over the incision dry and in place for 1 day following surgery. On the day after surgery, remove the outer dressing. It is now safe for you to get into the shower. Be careful not to scrub at the incision line, simply let the water run over the incision and gently pat the area dry.
Following surgery, you are encouraged to do as much walking as is comfortable. You may climb stairs, taking them one at a time and slowly.
You are not to operate a vehicle while you are having discomfort or taking pain medication. This will interfere with your ability to drive safely. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to resume driving.
Lifting heavy objects is okay, but if lifting causes pain in your incision or groin, please stop. If pain persists, call the office and speak with the nurse.
Although not commonly seen, any incision is susceptible to infection. If you develop a fever of 101 degrees or above, have unexpected pain, redness or drainage from the incision, please contact my office.
Please call the office a day or two after you go home to schedule your appointment for approximately 2 weeks after surgery.
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