Feeling nervous about upcoming hernia surgery? That’s perfectly normal. And you might be curious about what will happen before and after your hernia surgery.
Hernias don’t go away on their own. That’s why it’s important to operate on it as soon as it’s diagnosed. Without surgery, you risk your hernia enlarging, making it more difficult and complicated to operate on.
In this article, we’ll outline the things you need to be aware of before and after your hernia surgery.
Before your hernia surgery
It’s natural to feel apprehensive and a little anxious about hernia surgery. Hernia operations are very common and complications are relatively low, so try your best to stay calm (easier said than done, we know)!
Here’s what you can expect before your hernia surgery:
Pre-op examination and meeting with the surgeon
Your surgeon will likely ask you about your symptoms and lay out their plan for the best way to safely and effectively operate on your hernia. This is your opportunity to ask your questions too, so make sure you’re prepared!
Your surgeon will also ask you about any other conditions you have, any medication you’re currently taking, and other information about your previous medical history.
Instructions about medications
Before your hernia surgery you will also be advised on regular medication you can or cannot take in the days leading up to your surgery.
For instance, if you take aspirin or other blood thinners regularly you will be advised whether or not it is safe to continue taking them ahead of your surgery.
You likely won’t be able to have any herbal supplements such as St John’s Wort or Vitamin E.
You will also be instructed to fast in the hours leading up to your surgery. If you must take medication on the day of your surgery, make sure you take it with just a sip of water.
General health guidelines prior to hernia surgery
It’s always a good idea to take extra good care of your body in the weeks and days before your hernia surgery. Make sure you stay well hydrated, eat plenty of healthy whole foods, and remember to get plenty of rest.
Other tips for the day of hernia surgery
- Don’t apply any lotions, perfumes, or deodorants on the day of your surgery
- Remove all jewelry
- Don’t worry about shaving the area of the surgical site
- Take a shower or bath before your surgery
After your hernia surgery
Your surgery is over! You did it! Now it’s time to give your body some time and space to heal. Most people can return home straight after their operation. It’s important to make sure you keep your fluids up to reduce your risk of constipation.
Here’s what else you can expect after your hernia surgery:
Swelling at the incision site
After hernia surgery, it’s really common to experience swelling, soreness and bruising around the incision site. To combat this, we recommend using an abdominal hernia belt or compression garment.
Incisional hernias are very common after surgery, therefore it is most important to use a hernia belt after any abdominal surgery procedure, including hernia repair. It is the first defense to keep the incision protected and stable, especially in the first six weeks of recovery.
Painkillers for discomfort
You will likely be given a prescription for painkillers after your hernia surgery. Take them as prescribed if you’re experiencing pain after the procedure. If your discomfort is only mild though, you may prefer just to take over the counter medication like Ibuprofen.
If you’re feeling constipated you may wish to take some mild laxatives too.
Speaking of laxatives, your first bowel movement could happen anywhere between one and up to ten days after your hernia surgery. This variation is totally normal, and as long as you’re not experiencing nausea or abdominal cramps, there’s nothing to worry about.
Day to day activities
It’s important to keep moving as you recover from hernia surgery. Going for regular walks is encouraged and you shouldn’t have any issues going up or down the stairs.
It’s advised that you don’t drive until you’re no longer taking prescription medication, and try to avoid lifting anything heavier than a couple of kilos.
Purchase your hernia belt before your hernia surgery
Our 2-in-1 Hernia Belly Band is an abdominal compression garment designed to support existing hernias and to be used after hernia repair surgery for both men and women.
The Hernia Belly band is a popular choice because of its flexible sizing, multiple widths, and adjustable compression. It can be used for a wide range of abdominal and back support needs.
To find out more about our hernia belts, click here.