Recovery time for incisional hernia surgery

Written by s.e. wasek
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In open/incisional hernia repair surgery, the surgeon makes one long incision in the groin to access and repair the abdominal or inguinal hernia, according to WebMD. This procedure has shorter surgical times than the minimally invasive method, but open repair patients have "significantly higher pain" postoperatively, according to Harmza and colleagues.

Take It Slow With Meals

The first post-operative meal should be liquid or very light, according to St. Joseph Medical Center. If well-tolerated--i.e., "no nausea, vomiting or abdominal discomfort"--the patient may progressively add more solids to subsequent meals.

Some Activity Is Good

Patients should walk (including stairs) beginning on the first post-op day. However strenuous activities should be avoided. St. Joseph Medical Center states patients shouldn't drive if they still have pain, and shouldn't lift more than five pounds for at least three weeks.

Caring for the Incision Site

Patients should follow physician instructions regarding keeping the wound clean and dry. St. Joseph Medical Center recommends avoiding soaking the wound in the bath or a pool for at least two weeks.

Return to Work

Patients can return to work when they feel comfortable and depending on their job requirements, says the Baylor College of Medicine.

Full Return to Daily Activities

A follow-up to gauge progress is usually scheduled about two weeks post-op, according to Baylor. Baylor and St. Joseph Medical Center say full recovery to "normal strenuous activities" takes four to eight weeks, depending on the patient.

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