An inguinal hernia is a protrusion through a weak spot in the groin muscles causing a sometimes painful and unsightly bulge.
Inguinal hernias can get bigger and cause persistent pain or complications. Overtime inguinal hernias can get bigger or cause persistent pains and complications, such as incarceration “getting stuck” or strangulation “tissue blood supplied choked.” Many hernias are referred to surgery which can be performed laparoscopically.
Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than conventional hernia surgery. In general early recovery from laparoscopic surgery is facilitated by a quicker return to your daily routine. This is very different from open hernia surgery, after which your surgeon may not allow you to do exertional activity for up to 4 weeks.
Here are some of our tips for recovering from laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery.
Know what to expect during recovery
One of the best ways to prepare for any surgery is to know what to expect before, during and after your surgery. This will help you to feel calmer, relaxed and more in control throughout your hernia surgery journey. Your surgeon will explain to you how to do this.
Let your medical team get you on your feet
We understand you are probably going to be anxious to return home after your surgery. However, when you first wake up after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, you will probably still have an IV in your arm to deliver fluids and pain medication. Once you have been given something small to eat and drink, and your doctor has assessed your recovery, your IV will be removed and you should be allowed to go home. In general, laparoscopic surgery recovery time in the post anesthesia care unit, is between 1-4 hours prior to discharge.
Arrange for a driver and someone to help you recover
Since you will have had a general anesthetic, you will not be able to drive yourself home after your surgery. You should also avoid public transport. For this reason, you will not be discharged until you have a responsible adult present to drive you straight home.
As the effects of a general anesthetic can make you feel foggy afterwards, we also insist that you have someone who can stay with you for the first night after surgery. Even though your surgeon may encourage early activity, you may still find it difficult to move around and need assistance with some aspects of your care. If possible, it is a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first couple of days after surgery, as this will allow you time to ease back into your day to day activities.
Take your pain medication at the prescribed times
Even though you may be prescribed narcotics after surgery if you can avoid them, it will facilitate your recovery. Narcotics are associated with mental status changes, abdominal pain, and constipation. So drugs such as Tylenol will be better for your recovery. However, should you need to take the narcotic, you will be advised to take stool softeners and laxatives to support it.
Try and walk around
Try to get up to walk around at least a few teams every day. Walking will boost your blood circulation which will in turn send oxygenated blood to the areas that need to heal, speeding up the process. You may feel fatigued after walking, and this is normal.
Eat a healthy diet
Good nutrition is essential for healing so opt for a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber and fresh fruit and vegetables, as this will help prevent you from becoming constipated – a common post-surgical problem.
Follow the aftercare instructions given to you by our surgeons
Finally, the most important thing you can do that will have the biggest impact on your recovery is to follow the post-surgery recovery instructions provided by your surgeon and medical team. These are designed specifically to help ensure that your recovery is as fast and straightforward as possible. If you have any concerns or questions, call our surgeon’s offices as soon as possible.
Want to learn more about laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery at Laparoscopic Surgical Center of New York? Call our office today at (212) 879-6677.