Incisional Hernias

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Incisional Hernias - Home care instructions

It is important to follow home care instructions after surgery to avoid complications.


You can eat a regular diet without any restrictions after surgery. This, of course, will be limited by other illnesses you have, such as diabetes, heart disease or hypertension.

On the first day, eat small, light, meals and liquids. Progress to a normal diet as tolerated.

Nausea and vomiting from anesthesia are not uncommon for 24 hours. If you feel nauseous, take clear liquids only. Contact your doctor if nausea and vomiting persist for greater than 36 hours.

Do not take any alcoholic drinks for at least 24 hours and while you are taking narcotic painkillers with codeine.


You can do whatever you are comfortable doing, except heavy lifting, after you are discharged.

For 24 to 48 hours after surgery you may resist movement due to pain. Although you should get rest during this time, it is equally important to get up and walk.

Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicines and while your incisions hurt. This may reduce your ability to move quickly.

Your thought processes may take 24 to 48 hours to return to normal because of anesthesia. Do not make any important business or personal decisions during this time.

It is okay to go up and down stairs, and it is encouraged.

You can return to work when you feel comfortable you can perform your job safely and at the level you and your employer expect. Usually this is a minimum of one week. If your job involves heavy lifting you should stay out of work for 2-4 weeks.

Most people find they fatigue easily during the second and even the third week, so donít overload your schedule.

Do not return to exercise or strenuous activity until you are seen for a follow-up appointment.

Pain and Discomfort

It is normal to have pain after the operation. How much pain a person experiences usually depends on the individual and not on the operation. Pain normally is located over the incision. Narcotics and painkillers are prescribed for relief from pain.

Keeping ice on the area of surgery for 24 to 48 hours will minimize postoperative swelling and reduce pain. There is no benefit to using ice after the first 48 hours.

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murugu123, India

i am 54 years lady at present i have an incisional Hernia, 4 years back i had undergone operation uterus removing whether immediate surgery is required but i don't have any pain

Sarahsue, United States

10 days Post op from ingiunal repair recurrence and femoral hernia repair (same side). Cement Twinkie at the surgery site. Anyone? I am a 42 y/o female.

Marc_Twain, United States

My 73 yr old mother needs umbilical hernia repair. Skeptical about medical procedures, she is put it off til it is bigger. Does not like idea of Biologic implants. What is safest mesh material to use? Or, in general, which mesh material has the least complications / lawsuits ? Polypropylene, polyester,...what ? Thank you for any anticipated answer.

Squeeker, United States

I am scheduled to have a rather large Incisional Hernia repaired, because it is such a large hernia my surgeon has recommended using MESH. I have heard a lot of negative things regarding MESH and do not know which Mesh would be the safest to use. Do you have some suggestions on which MESH would be best?
I did express my concerns to my surgeon but there was no recommendation. Also I was told that if you could have a Cosmetic Surgeon join in with your Surgeon you may have much better results. Is this true?

akab66, Ghana

Hi also had umbilical hernia repair surgery 2 months ago and am experiencing burning sensation and pain around the incision. I am passing gas frequently and feel tired often. Have had issues with bloating and pain in the upper part of my stomach for some time and have been told there may be some adhesions. Its just a pity the Doctors do not tell you much about the recovery process and they make you think the surgery is just a simple procedure.

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