Care of the Incision
Surgical incisions are covered with a gauze pad. It is not uncommon for the pad to become saturated with blood during the first 24 hours. Do not become alarmed; just change the bandages as needed.
You can take a shower 24-36 hours after surgery. Be sure to gently dry your incisions and replace the bandage.
After 2-3 days, it is not necessary to keep your incisions covered but it will usually make you more comfortable to do so as you increase your activity.
If you do not see metal clips or sutures, the sutures are in the skin itself and will dissolve. This occurs 3-4 weeks after surgery and may be associated with a little drainage from the incision.
It is common for patients to notice some black and blue or maroon discoloration around the incision. This represents a small amount of blood and is normal. It should not alarm you. It is also common for this to only become apparent 2-3 days after surgery as blood in the tissues moves to the surface.
Contact the doctor if your incision is red, hot and tender; you may have an infection.
You have been given antibiotics in the operating room prior to surgery. Unless discussed with you, you do not need them after surgery.
You may also notice black and blue discoloration near your incision. This is not cause for alarm, even if it occurs a few days after the surgery. It will usually resolve in 7 to 10 days.
It is normal for the incisions and the hernia site to be hard and swollen following surgery. This is called a healing ridge and represents wound healing. It is not a hernia and will go away in eight to twelve weeks.
Do not tan your incision for one year after surgery, as it will darken your scar.
Some people believe Vitamin A and Vitamin E applied to the incision helps wound healing.Bowel habits
Following your surgery you may notice alterations in your bowel habits.
Diarrhea can occur from the surgery itself or from the antibiotics you received.
Constipation is very common and results from the narcotic pain medicine you are taking.
If you or your family were not informed of anything unusual after surgery, rest assured that everything is fine and went according to plan.Contact your doctor if you experience:
Persistent light headedness
Chills and/or fever greater than 101°F
Pus or infection at the incisions
Inability to pass urine
Any worrisome condition