Post-op expectations for hernia surgery:

  • Patients are encouraged to engage in light activity while at home after surgery.
  • Post operative pain is generally mild.
  • Anti-reflux medication is usually not required after surgery long term, but many patients require medication initially.
  • You will probably be able to get back to your normal activities within a short amount of time. These activities include showering, driving, lifting and working.
  • Many patients are able to return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery.
  • You may have a feeling of tightness when you swallow for 6 – 8 weeks. This is from the swelling inside your esophagus.
  • Some patients experience bloating after surgery.
  • Diet will slowly advance, starting with clear liquids, then full liquid then soft diet.
  • You should be seen in the office for follow-up 1-2 weeks after surgery. Please call and schedule an appointment.

Instructions:

  • Dressing can be removed the day after surgery.
  • You may shower once dressing is removed.
  • AVOID soaking in a tub or going swimming until incisions are completely healed.
  • Wash wound with mild soap and water.
  • Gently pat incisions dry.
  • No further dressing needed on site unless there is drainage present.
  • Advance diet as directed at discharge.
  • When starting liquid diet, DO NOT gulp but start with small volumes of liquid, 1 cup at a time, remembering large amounts of fluid can stretch the stomach.
  • AVOID gas…don’t drink with a straw, consume carbonated drinks or chew gum.
  • AVOID cold liquids.
  • AVOID foods that produce gas including corn, dried beans, onions, lentils, peas, broccoli cauliflower and cabbage.
  • You may need to avoid milk products, if you are experiencing diarrhea after surgery.
  • AVOID breads, rolls, bananas or “sticky” foods that may be difficult to swallow.
  • Eat small, frequent meals (6-8 per day) to help avoiding distension.
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
  • Remain upright for 30 minutes after each meal and for 2 hours after last meal or snack of the day.
  • Walk several times per day.
  • Use pain medication as prescribed.
  • AVOID driving while using narcotic pain medication.
  • Crush pills and take with liquid for the first month after surgery.
  • AVOID lifting anything greater than 10 pounds (gallon of milk).
  • DO NOT push or pull.

When to call the office:

  • Persistent fever over 101 degrees F (39 C)
  • Bleeding
  • Increasing abdominal swelling or pain
  • Pain that is not relieved by your medications
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Chills
  • Persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing that keeps you from eating
  • Swallowing problems that don’t improve after 2-3 weeks
  • Purulent drainage (pus) from any incision
  • Redness surrounding any of your incisions that is worsening or getting bigger
  • You are unable to eat or drink liquids
  • Your skin or eyes turn yellow