Instructions After Surgery Your Incision(s)

You may notice pain, swelling, and/or bruising at your incision (where the surgeon cut your skin to perform surgery). The swelling and bruising may begin 1-4 days after surgery, and will typically go away within 2 weeks after surgery. Ice for the first 48 hours after surgery can help to reduce this.

Below are more detailed instructions, based on the type of surgery you underwent:

Incisional pain is expected after surgery. Every patient may experience a different level of pain sensation. In general, most patients have acute pain that requires pain control for 1-3 days after surgery. Some require pain control for 1-2 weeks after surgery. Normal recovery involves a daily improvement in pain. In Discharge summery proper pain medication are prescribed to you. These generally include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug(NSAID).
  • Non Norcotaic pain medication.They are milder from of analgesics. Like Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Homeopathic anti-inflammatories. We like to start these before surgery in order to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. The regimen will be provided during your consultation visit.

For the first 48 hours after surgery

  • Keep the wound dry.
  • After 48 hours, remove the clear dressing and gauze from your wound and allow your skin to be open to air. Keep the thin strip of tape (Steri-strip) on your incision, as your wound will heal and look better with this in place. The strip typically peels off on its own within 2 weeks.
  • You may shower after taking off the dressing.
  • You may begin driving after 48 hours and whenever your are no longer taking a prescription medication for pain control.

For the first 2 weeks after surgery

  • Be active. Walking, non-extreme exercises, and normal daily activities are highly encouraged. These may include shopping, stairs, treadmill, sexual activity, and house work. This will speed up the healing process, decrease the chance of lung problems and prevent complications such as blood clots in the legs.

After the first 2 weeks after surgery

  • You may resume all activities, without restriction.
  • For gym-type exercises, make sure you work your core muscles (stomach, mid-to-lower back, and hips).
  • If your job involves routine heavy lifting, ask your surgeon for further instruction. You may be encouraged to delay lifting heavy objects until 6 weeks after surgery.
  • These are general common instructions we use. Follow what Dr. Vaibhav says, which may vary depending on your individual situati0n.

Resume your usual diet. We generally recommend a high fiber diet to prevent constipation and high protein diet to promote healing. You should also increase your fluid intake to 8 glasses a day.

Constipation is the most common problem after hernia surgery.

We encourage very aggressive prevention of constipation for all patients. The following is a list of regimens, all over-the-counter, which may be combined as needed to prevent constipation and straining after hernia surgery:

  • Drinking 8 glasses of fluid per day
  • High fiber diet (high fiber cereals, vegetables, beans, fruits).
  • Fiber supplementation (Miralax, Benefiber, fiber tablets, fiber powders, fiber crackers). Take these 1 to 3 times a day.
  • Mineral oil. Take a tablespoon 2-3 times a day.
  • Stool softeners ( Dulcolax) do usually work. Take as directed on bottle.

If you had a urinary catheter (tube inserted into your bladder to allow urine to drain) in you during surgery, you may experience burning after your first urination. This should go away after the first couple of times urinating.

When to call after surgery

  • Pain that is not relieved by medication.
  • Nausea for longer than 1 hour
  • Vomiting
  • Fever greater than 101°F
  • Redness, warmth, and worsening pain at the incisions
  • Purulent (pus) drainage from any incision
  • Difficulty urinating or burning when you urinate
  • Watery diarrhea, more than 3 times a day