Sports After Hernia Surgery

At General and Vascular Surgery we don’t simply treat our patients. One of the reasons we have exemplary patient satisfaction scores is because of our diligence and dedication to education. For example, many of our hernia surgery patients want to know what to expect when playing sports after hernia surgery. Who better to provide expert insight than our GVS surgeons who perform upwards of 4,000 hernia surgeries every year?!

From running, biking, and playing football after hernia surgery to exercises to avoid after hernia surgery and more, GVS is here to help you navigate everything you need to know for a full and healthy recovery. 

Can There Be a Return to Sports After Hernia Surgery? 

With the availability of minimally-invasive procedures such as laparoscopic hernia repair, recovery outcomes are favorable and often faster. Most patients can leave the hospital or outpatient surgery center on the same day. The return to most daily (nonstrenuous) activities can occur between one to three days. 

As for returning to sports after hernia surgery, many can be resumed quicker than you might imagine. This is especially true following laparoscopic hernia surgery with positive outcomes. In fact, one study examing NFL players’ return to football after hernia surgery demonstrated more than a 90% success rate, with no difference in performance. 

Additional scientific literature cites an average recovery period of 25 days to eight weeks of recovery prior to returning to major league sports such as baseball, tennis, and hockey. 

An open hernia repair may require a longer waiting period to resume sports — up to six months. Your surgeon will help provide you with a personalized timeline. 

A Safe Return to Sports and Exercise

Taking the necessary precautions after hernia surgery will help ensure a quicker and safer return to activity. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you return to your favorite sport or exercise:

  • Wait to practice your favorite core exercise after hernia repair with mesh (or without) for four to six weeks, unless recommended otherwise.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, especially heavy lifting, for four to six weeks or as advised by your surgeon.
  • Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection such as persistent pain, vomiting, fever, swelling, or other symptoms. 

At GVS we pride ourselves on providing readily available, diverse, and expert advice, along with resources to our patients.


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