How to prepare for A Hernia Surgery?

How to prepare for A Hernia Surgery?

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Before Hernia surgery

Hernia Surgery Preparation

• Most hernia operations are performed on an outpatient basis, and therefore you will probably go home on the same day that the operation is performed.
• Preoperative preparation includes blood work, medical evaluation, chest x-ray and an EKG depending on your age and medical condition.
• After your surgeon reviews with you the potential risks and benefits of the operation, you will need to provide written consent for surgery.
• It is recommended that you shower the night before or morning of the operation.
• If you have difficulties moving your bowels, an enema or similar preparation may be used after consulting with your surgeon.
• After midnight the night before the operation, you should not eat or drink anything except medications that your surgeon has told you are permissible to take with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
• Drugs such as aspirin, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications (arthritis medications) and Vitamin E will need to be stopped temporarily for several days to a week prior to surgery.
• Diet medication or St. John’s Wort should not be used for the two weeks prior to surgery.
• Keep your stomach empty: Don’t eat or drink anything (not even water) after midnight the night before surgery. Your surgery may be canceled if you eat or drink before surgery. If you take any regular medications and have been told to continue them, take them with small sips of water.
• Arrange for help after surgery: Plan to have someone drive you home afterward. You’ll want to take it easy after surgery, too, so you may need extra help at home.
• Quit smoking and arrange for any help you may need at

Hernia Recovery

The day of surgery:
On the day of surgery, you will meet a surgical nurse, your surgeon and an anesthesiologist in the preoperative area and any additional questions can be answered before you are asked to give written consent for the operation. A nurse or the surgeon will then take you to the operating room for the procedure.
Recovery time after surgery depends on your hernia type, as well as the surgical procedure used to repair your hernia. Most patients experience only mild to moderate discomfort at the site of surgery, and once they are able to tolerate a light snack and move around adequately, they are often discharged with a prescription for oral painkillers.
Patients with more complex hernia repairs may require one or more nights in the hospital where stronger pain medications can be used before they are able to care for themselves.

Post-Operative Instructions

CARE FOR THE INCISION:
24 hours after surgery you may remove the bandages (if any) and shower. NO TUB BATHS or swimming for two weeks. Gently pat the incision dry after showering. There may be a drain with dressing on it. You should remove the dressing and wash normally around the drain apply a light gauze dressing around it. You may use a pillow over the surgical area to hold pressure to cough and deep breathe or if you need to sneeze.

REDUCING SWELLING:
Early on, it’s common for the area around your incision to be swollen, bruised, and sore. To reduce swelling, put an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a thin towel. Place the towel on the swollen area 3 – 5 times a day for 15 – 20 minutes at a time. Immediately post-operative, it is recommended for men wear briefs in place of boxer shorts to provide additional support. This also aids in reducing post-operative swelling. If needed, an athletic supporter may be worn. For ventral hernias an abdominal binder will be provided for the patient that has to be worn at all the time for 6 weeks. It can be removed prior to the daily shower and then it must be apply again.

DIET:
For the first 24 hours after surgery, you may not have much of an appetite or feel like to eat heavy foods. We encourage you to keep up with your liquids. As your appetite increases, you will find yourself eating normally. There are no restrictions for diet, just eat what your system can tolerate.

MEDICATION:
You will be given a prescription for pain medication. Take this as directed for post-operative pain. If you are experiencing only mild discomfort, you may find over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil/Nuprin (Ibuprofen), may be all you need for comfort. If constipation becomes a problem, an over-the-counter stool softener (Metamucil) or a mild laxative (Milk of Magnesia) may be taken. Continue to take prescription medication as ordered. If using sedatives and /or sleeping pills, be extremely cautious since their effect will be increased due to anesthesia and/or pain medication.

DRIVING:
You will usually be allowed to drive when you no longer need narcotic (prescription) pain medications for two days.

ACTIVITY:
There are no restrictions on daily activities, including going up and down stairs. We encourage you to walk frequently, and there are no restrictions on the distances you may walk. You are restricted only by your level of comfort. Do not lift, pull or push more than 5 pounds for the next 2 weeks unless otherwise directed.  No heavy exercises for 6 weeks after the surgery.

BOWEL ACTIVITY:
The first bowel movement may occur anywhere from 1-10 days after surgery. As long as you are not nauseated or having abdominal pain, this variation is acceptable. Constipation can occur after this operation, and taking milk of magnesia (two tablespoons; twice a day) can prevent this issue.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE SURGERY:

You may notice a slight drainage (usually pink or reddish in color), bruising, or slight swelling around the incision. This is normal and not cause for concern. Likewise, it is normal to have a lump or hardness under or near the incision. You may also have bruising and some swelling of the genitalia, which is not uncommon. You may feel tired and slightly bloated and have no appetite for few days after the surgery.

WHEN TO BE ALARMED AND CALL THE DOCTOR:

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
• Increased incisional pain, bleeding, or redness
• Inability to urinate within 12 hours
• Fever over 100.5°F or chills
• Inability to tolerate diet due to vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away
• Foul-smelling discharge from incision
• Chest pain or shortness of breath
• Excessive swelling around the incision or in the scrotum

FOLLOW UP:
You will be seen in our office within 2 weeks and again in 6 weeks after the surgery. Prior to surgery, you should have made an appointment for your first post-operative visit. If for some reason that appointment was not scheduled, please call our office at 9494-646-8444 as soon as you return home to schedule your follow up visit.