Repairing an inguinal hernia is one of the most common surgeries worldwide. Those diagnosed with the condition and have had surgery to repair it has the benefit of full recovery today. But, of course, when you’ve had surgery for an inguinal hernia, you have to take care of yourself afterwards, just like any other surgery. But depending on the type of surgery you’ve had – whether you’ve had open surgery or laparoscopic repair – or who did it, a male or female surgeon, you can return home on the same day or a few days after. The aftercare is the same, however. You need to take instructions from the doctor on how to care for yourself properly, and that includes such aspects as bathing and dressing your wound, exercising, and driving. But what can you expect after surgery on an inguinal hernia? Here’s your in-depth recovery guide.

When you get home: taking care of yourself

The first important thing you must ensure before you get home is that another adult stays with you, especially on the day after your surgery. This adult (or another one) should also drive you home from the hospital. It is vital that an adult stays in your home with you for the first day, as you might still be wobbly or dizzy and may need assistance, particularly if you’ve had painkillers.

If you find yourself sneezing or coughing or have to move between standing and sitting, applying gentle but firm pressure on your wound is best. If you are still experiencing pain, you can continue to take painkillers as long as they have been approved by your doctor, as a groin hernia repair London expert from The London Surgical Group will tell you.

The same experts at the further state that if you bathe, follow the bathing instructions given by the medical staff. Make sure the instructions regarding hygiene and wound care are closely followed.

If you have to go to the toilet, remember that too much straining can result in pain, especially around the wound area. If constipated, you can drink more liquids and eat plenty of fruit, veggies, and fibre-rich foods, such as whole-meal or wheat bread, pasta, and brown rice. You can also take a laxative over the counter.

The activities you should stay away from

If your surgery was performed under general anaesthesia, your reasoning plus coordination might be influenced for some time. This is why it’s important to avoid certain activities in the meantime, such as drinking any beverage with alcohol, signing important documents, or operating heavy machinery for at least a few days.

In time, of course, you should be able to return to your normal routine without experiencing any pain or discomfort. For example, most people can do light shopping or other non-strenuous activities in about one to two weeks.

You can also do general exercises like walking, but avoid lifting and intense exercises for four to six weeks. Then, after about one to two weeks, you can go back to work – but if your work is labour-intensive, you may require more time.

Driving is one activity you should avoid if you feel discomfort or pain during an emergency stop. It will usually take about one to two weeks after having laparoscopic surgery to recover enough to drive, but it might take longer if you’ve had open surgery. To be sure, speak to your doctor – and contact your insurance provider before you begin driving.