Precautions After Hernia Surgery

Hernias happen more frequently than you might think. The common inguinal hernia, for example, affects upwards of 27% of men and 3% of women in the U.S.  To heal properly, hernias typically require surgical repair. When hearing that surgical intervention is required, many patients wonder if they can engage in physical activity. Is playing football after hernia surgery out of the question? Or, when can weight lifting resume? There are a number of questions that patients face.

Provided you take the proper precautions after hernia surgery, and have a full, successful recovery, you can safely return to the sports and activities you enjoy. At General and Vascular Surgery, our compassionate, highly-skilled surgeons perform thousands of hernia surgeries every year. It’s our goal to help ensure a safe, effective, and patient-centered experience, including hernia surgery recovery.

Dos and Don’ts After Inguinal Hernia Surgery

When a portion of your organ pushes through an opening in your abdomen, it’s referred to as an inguinal hernia. To help repair the hernia, a surgeon pushes the protruding organ back into place. Sometimes, surgical mesh will be used to reinforce the area and prevent future hernias from developing. A hernia can be performed either through “open surgery,” or minimally-invasive “laparoscopic surgery.”

Although laparoscopic surgery typically means less downtime and recovery, it’s important to take the necessary precautions after any type of hernia surgery and follow the post-surgery guidelines provided by your surgeon.

Take a look at a few activities and risks to avoid during the initial stages of hernia repair recovery:

  • Do NOT lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for a minimum of two weeks (or as instructed by your surgeon).
  • Do NOT engage in strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least four to six weeks (or advised by your surgeon). Lifting too soon after hernia surgery can cause a hernia reoccurrence and other complications.
  • Do NOT remain sedentary. Moving slowly (walking around for five to ten minutes) at least five or six times a day, and practicing breathing exercises can help prevent blood clots in your lungs. Your surgeon may also recommend wearing compression socks.

Now, refer to what you can do with the approval of your surgeon and provided your operation and recovery has gone as planned:

  • DO plan on resuming your daily activities (nothing too taxing) between one and two weeks after surgery.
  • DO return to your favorite physical activity between four and six weeks. Be patient, and start off slow.
  • DO call your doctor if you have any concerns, questions, or discomfort — especially when resuming activity.

Greater Michiana’s Choice for Hernia Surgery

Rated among the top physicians and surgeons in Indiana, General and Vascular Surgery maintains positive patient satisfaction scores across the board (Google, Facebook, and patient surveys) with a 4.89 score, out of 5.0. We make your comfort, safety, and needs a priority, delivering high-quality, flexible care.

If you suspect you have a hernia and need to schedule a surgical repair, consult with our physicians now.


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