Recovery From Complex Hernia Surgery

We want you to be highly informed about your recovery so you feel confident in your decision. Dr. Iskandar will provide specific pre-op instructions in addition to what can be expected after your procedure. Every complex hernia repair is unique, so you will have guidelines and answers provided that are tailored to your case.

Here are some general answers to frequently asked questions that typically apply, though your specific case may be differ. Feel free to ask Dr. Iskandar questions regarding your recovery. Part of our unparalleled compassion is ensuring our patients feel they have their questions and concerns addressed prior to the procedure.

Recovery FAQs

How long is recovery from a complex hernia repair?

Recovery varies with the complexity of the hernia and the surgery itself. Following the surgery, patients are usually able to eat and drink and are expected to attempt to walk. Within 2 weeks, most patients are reaching full recovery. As a precaution, during the 4 weeks following surgery, patients are directed to refrain from strenuous activity or heavy lifting.

What should I expect immediately after my complex hernia procedure?

Abdominal soreness and tightness usually improve after 3 days. Patients are given an abdominal binder to help support the abdomen and reduce pain. In some cases, drains are placed to extract and collect fluid from the wound; therefore, preventing fluid collections, promoting healing, and reducing the chance of infection. Generally, the wounds are closed with dissolvable sutures and no wound care is needed.

How long am I in the hospital after complex hernia repair?

If a minimally invasive approach is performed, it varies between outpatient surgery and up to 2 days in the hospital. If a traditional open repair is performed, hospitalization is longer and varies between 2-5 days.

How is my pain managed after complex hernia surgery?

A nerve block is performed while the patient is under anesthesia to numb the nerves that supply the abdominal wall. Blocks significantly lower pain levels and reduce the need for pain medications. In addition, a combination of intravenous and oral pain medications are used.

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What are the do’s and don’ts after complex hernia surgery?

Patients are encouraged to walk and be active. Walking helps speed up the recovery and lowers the risk of complications.

The main restriction after surgery is to avoid activities that strain or put pressure on the abdomen. Such activities include lifting more than 15 lbs. or performing abdominal core exercises.

Will I need to have someone to look after me at home?

Typically, no extra care is needed but is welcome and helpful if available. In some cases, we may make arrangements for visiting nurse services and physical therapy.

What should I do with my wounds?

All wounds are usually closed with dissolvable sutures and no wound care is needed.

What can I expect long-term as far as recovery?

Full function after 4-6 weeks with a gradual return to strenuous physical activity.

When can I go back to work?

Depending on the surgery performed and the type of work you do, between 2-4 weeks.

When can I drive again?

When you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication and are comfortable enough.

What is the best position to sleep after hernia surgery?

Any position that one is comfortable. Sleeping on the stomach will not cause harm.

How long until I can have sex after complex hernia surgery?

When pain improves and with care not to place pressure on the abdomen.