Healthy Living

Tips On Recovering From Open Hernia Repair

Tips On Recovering From Open Hernia Repair

After surgery, the first thing everyone would like to ask the doctor is about recovery. Undoubtedly, no one wants to stay bedridden for very long and everyone wants to restart their normal activities as soon as possible. While the recovery time for open hernia repair varies from person to person, certain guidelines and precautionary measures will help you quicken the recovery process. Follow the instructions given in this guide to get well soon after the hernia operation.


Although there is no restriction on diet after the surgery, you need to take care of any other diseases and conditions that may be bothering you, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. During the first few days after your operation, consume plenty of fluids and light meals. You may experience nausea and vomiting for 24 hours after the operation due to anesthesia. However, call the doctor if it persists for longer. Avoid the consumption of alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Activity Guidelines

You must avoid lifting heavy objects and harsh exercise for the first few days. Other activities like walking, driving and sexual activity can be resumed one you feel fine and there is no more discomfort in your abdomen. For 1 to 2 days after surgery, you should ensure you get sufficient rest. Walk to remain active. Go up and down stairs if your body permits it. Avoid driving if your incisions hurt. You can return to work or other routine activities when you feel comfortable and are able to perform the job efficiently as per the expectations of your employer. In normal cases, this can take around a week. However, you should not work for 2-4 weeks if your job involves heavy lifting. Fatigue is common during the second and third weeks after your operation, so do not exercise or perform any strenuous activity until you are sure about your health.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are quite normal after the operation. You can relieve yourself of this pain by keeping ice on the area of surgery for 1 to 2 days. Apart from providing some pain relief, this can also reduce swelling. Your doctor may also prescribe you some pain-relieving medications. Remember to take them as prescribed. Diarrhea and constipation can also occur from the surgery. You can take medications for them too.

Incisional Care

The doctor covers your incisions with a gauze pad. Change the bandages as required. You need to protect your incisions from water during the first 2 days, so a sponge bath is advised during this time period.  The sutures used during the surgery are in the skin itself and dissolve on their own 3-4 weeks after surgery. This may cause a little drainage from the incision.

Some blue and black or maroon discoloration around the incisions is normal. It is caused by a small amount of blood. However, you may have an infection if your incision is red and tender. You need to call doctor immediately in that case. Some people believe that Vitamin A and Vitamin E help wound healing. You can consume them in the form of capsules to speed up the recovery.