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inguinal hernia recovery advice

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
I just had my second inguinal hernia repair day before yesterday. I'm a 47 yo male and with the
exception of the hernia and about 20 lbs of excess baggage (fat) am in very good health - ie: no
other health problems or defiencies. The first operation was about 5 years ago and was on the
right side.

Chopping firewood and the heavy lifting apparently brought on the second hernia which was on my left
side.For both operations they cut an incision and put synthetic mesh in to block the intestine and
prevent it from pushing into the groin area.

For both operations the doctors didn't have much of anything to say in regards to the recovery
period except -"take it easy; don't exercise for a few weeks, and be sure not to lift anything that
weighs more than 10 LBS.: for several weeks.

Recovering from the first surgery was my first intensive introduction to PAIN and I now know, that
it did not have to be that way! I was in bed for several days and everytime I had to get up out of
bed to go to the bathroom, i experienced excruciating pain - it felt like acid was being poured on
my groin area.

Taking a leak wasn't a problem, it was getting my carcass out of bed that hurt so much. There was no
pain while lying in bed. I'm usually fairly active physically, so for me this was hell. I falsly
assumed that I was supposed to spend the first few days after the operation lying in bed - "taking
it easy" -

Don't make that mistake. STAY OUT OF BED - except during your normal sleeping hours... that is
unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise and move around - don't sit still for more than
an hour or two at a time.

THE BEST ADVICE

The recovery room nurse for the second operation told me that the best way to minimize pain and to
speed up the recovery would be to STAY UP, TO MOVE AROUND FREQUENTLY and TO STAY OUT OF BED as much
as possible

He said to eat regular meals, to take walks, to sit up, to move around frequently, and to stay
out of bed except for the normal 6-8 hours of sleep time at night. He also said to take the
meds as needed
- typically for the first 2 to 4 days. After that you should find that the need for them starts to
taper off. Of course people recovering from these surgeries are not supposed to do any heavy
lifting or running for a few weeks.

After a night's sleep - the meds have worn off and without them - for at least the first couple of
nights, getting out of bed would involve a lot of pain. So I've been taking a couple of the
painkillers prescribed to me, in bed about 20 mins before I get out of bed.

The recovery room nurse also told me to put my hand over the incision and gently/firmly press there
before coughing, and to hold my hand there when walking if desired to provide additional support.
I'm doing that some of the time and it does seem to be helping.

He also said taking deep breaths every now and then, would help accelerate the healing - by
increasing the oxygen intake.

Also, you'll probably be walking slowly and like an old man (or woman) for a few days, but don't
worry, that too will pass. You should get a little bit better every day.

================

My surgery was at 9 am Wed morning and I was home at 4 pm the same day. I walked around a bit
outside and inside and then took a nap for about an hour, got up and ate a light dinner, and walked
around for about half an hour. I was up moving around the house - reading, computer, and tv that
night til about 11 pm. Yesterday I did light chores around the house, and spent some time reading
and writing.

I've been following the recovery room nurse's advice carrying on at home as I normally do on days
off, except there's been no lifting of anything over 10 lbs. The operation was abou 48 hours ago -
and I feel great. I will be back at work on Monday. The difference between the present recovery and
the one about 5 years ago is like the difference between night and day.

My search on the web for information on hernia recovery advice was very disappointing - so I'm
posting this in hopes that it will help some folks to have a speedy recovery with minimal pain.

I'd enjoy reading comments from others who have had inguinal hernia operations and think that others
who will be getting an IH operation would too.

Disclaimer: Since I'm NOT a medical professional - I think it's best if I encourage you to check
with your physician to get his/her professioanl opinion before following any of the suggestions in
this message. What you do or don't do doing the recovery period is very important - so for your own
good, please make sure that you give it the consideration that it deserves.

All the best,

BRW

================

www.commondreams.org and www.democracynow.org = two good American sources for national and
international news without a bunch of corporate spin.

==================

The World Teacher's Top Two Priorities (inspire mankind to...) Share the world's resources & Restore
the earth's ecological balance http://www.share-international.org
post #2 of 65

Re: inguinal hernia recovery advice

BRW,

Thanks for that recovery story. I know it will help many people wondering and recovering from the
same experience. As a licensed physical therapist I am a bit disappointed but not shocked that your
first surgery did not include at least having a P.T. come and give you discharge recommendations
before leaving the hospital. Putting your hand over the incision before coughing is a technique
called splinting, except we advise hugging a pillow to your abdomen while coughing, sneezing, going
from sit to stand or stand to sit, etc. Basically, any movement that is going to require your
abdominal muscles to work would be appropriate for splinting. Also, Trying not to stay in bed for
undue periods of time is proper advice. Cardiac bypass patients are out of bed within a couple of
days if all things go well!

If you're looking for a hospital that specializes in hernia repair and provides some good online
advice, check out http://www.shouldice.com/

Thanks again for sharing. Bob Schroedter, MSPT

"BRW" <BRWatson@yahoo.net> wrote in message news:ai9210t2ek9nvg4cgpksmgg9pths7hks8v@4ax.com...
> I just had my second inguinal hernia repair day before yesterday. I'm a 47 yo male and with the
> exception of the hernia and about 20 lbs of excess baggage (fat) am in very good health - ie: no
> other health problems or defiencies. The first operation was about 5 years ago and was on the
> right side.
>
> Chopping firewood and the heavy lifting apparently brought on the second hernia which was on my
> left side.For both operations they cut an incision and put synthetic mesh in to block the
> intestine and prevent it from pushing into the groin area.
>
> For both operations the doctors didn't have much of anything to say in regards to the recovery
> period except -"take it easy; don't exercise for a few weeks, and be sure not to lift anything
> that weighs more than 10 LBS.: for several weeks.
>
> Recovering from the first surgery was my first intensive introduction to PAIN and I now know, that
> it did not have to be that way! I was in bed for several days and everytime I had to get up out of
> bed to go to the bathroom, i experienced excruciating pain - it felt like acid was being poured on
> my groin area.
>
> Taking a leak wasn't a problem, it was getting my carcass out of bed that hurt so much. There was
> no pain while lying in bed. I'm usually fairly active physically, so for me this was hell. I
> falsly assumed that I was supposed to spend the first few days after the operation lying in bed -
> "taking it easy" -
>
> Don't make that mistake. STAY OUT OF BED - except during your normal sleeping hours... that is
> unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise and move around - don't sit still for more
> than an hour or two at a time.
>
> THE BEST ADVICE
>
> The recovery room nurse for the second operation told me that the best way to minimize pain and to
> speed up the recovery would be to STAY UP, TO MOVE AROUND FREQUENTLY and TO STAY OUT OF BED as
> much as possible
>
> He said to eat regular meals, to take walks, to sit up, to move around frequently, and to stay
> out of bed except for the normal 6-8 hours of sleep time at night. He also said to take the meds
> as needed
> - typically for the first 2 to 4 days. After that you should find that the need for them starts to
> taper off. Of course people recovering from these surgeries are not supposed to do any heavy
> lifting or running for a few weeks.
>
> After a night's sleep - the meds have worn off and without them - for at least the first couple of
> nights, getting out of bed would involve a lot of pain. So I've been taking a couple of the
> painkillers prescribed to me, in bed about 20 mins before I get out of bed.
>
> The recovery room nurse also told me to put my hand over the incision and gently/firmly press
> there before coughing, and to hold my hand there when walking if desired to provide additional
> support. I'm doing that some of the time and it does seem to be helping.
>
> He also said taking deep breaths every now and then, would help accelerate the healing - by
> increasing the oxygen intake.
>
> Also, you'll probably be walking slowly and like an old man (or woman) for a few days, but don't
> worry, that too will pass. You should get a little bit better every day.
>
> ================
>
> My surgery was at 9 am Wed morning and I was home at 4 pm the same day. I walked around a bit
> outside and inside and then took a nap for about an hour, got up and ate a light dinner, and
> walked around for about half an hour. I was up moving around the house - reading, computer, and tv
> that night til about 11 pm. Yesterday I did light chores around the house, and spent some time
> reading and writing.
>
> I've been following the recovery room nurse's advice carrying on at home as I normally do on days
> off, except there's been no lifting of anything over 10 lbs. The operation was abou 48 hours ago
> -and I feel great. I will be back at work on Monday. The difference between the present recovery
> and the one about 5 years ago is like the difference between night and day.
>
> My search on the web for information on hernia recovery advice was very disappointing - so I'm
> posting this in hopes that it will help some folks to have a speedy recovery with minimal pain.
>
> I'd enjoy reading comments from others who have had inguinal hernia operations and think that
> others who will be getting an IH operation would too.
>
> Disclaimer: Since I'm NOT a medical professional - I think it's best if I encourage you to check
> with your physician to get his/her professioanl opinion before following any of the suggestions in
> this message. What you do or don't do doing the recovery period is very important - so for your
> own good, please make sure that you give it the consideration that it deserves.
>
> All the best,
>
> BRW
>
> ================
>
> www.commondreams.org and www.democracynow.org = two good American sources for national and
> international news without a bunch of corporate spin.
>
> ==================
>
> The World Teacher's Top Two Priorities (inspire mankind to...) Share the world's resources &
> Restore the earth's ecological balance http://www.share-international.org
post #3 of 65
Thread Starter 

Re: inguinal hernia recovery advice

Thanks for the pillow/splinting info -that does help. It seems criminal for doctors not to
thoroughly address the recovery period.They should at least to tell tell their patients that they
need to see a PT to discuss their recovery - before they go under the blade -

On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 11:57:58 -0500, "Bob Schroedter" <schr7460@bellsouth.net> wrote:

>BRW,
>
>Thanks for that recovery story. I know it will help many people wondering and recovering from the
>same experience. As a licensed physical therapist I am a bit disappointed but not shocked that your
>first surgery did not include at least having a P.T. come and give you discharge recommendations
>before leaving the hospital. Putting your hand over the incision before coughing is a technique
>called splinting, except we advise hugging a pillow to your abdomen while coughing, sneezing, going
>from sit to stand or stand to sit, etc. Basically, any movement that is going to require your
>abdominal muscles to work would be appropriate for splinting. Also, Trying not to stay in bed for
>undue periods of time is proper advice. Cardiac bypass patients are out of bed within a couple of
>days if all things go well!
>
>If you're looking for a hospital that specializes in hernia repair and provides some good online
>advice, check out http://www.shouldice.com/
>
>Thanks again for sharing. Bob Schroedter, MSPT
>
>
>"BRW" <BRWatson@yahoo.net> wrote in message news:ai9210t2ek9nvg4cgpksmgg9pths7hks8v@4ax.com...
>> I just had my second inguinal hernia repair day before yesterday. I'm a 47 yo male and with the
>> exception of the hernia and about 20 lbs of excess baggage (fat) am in very good health - ie: no
>> other health problems or defiencies. The first operation was about 5 years ago and was on the
>> right side.
>>
>> Chopping firewood and the heavy lifting apparently brought on the second hernia which was on my
>> left side.For both operations they cut an incision and put synthetic mesh in to block the
>> intestine and prevent it from pushing into the groin area.
>>
>> For both operations the doctors didn't have much of anything to say in regards to the recovery
>> period except -"take it easy; don't exercise for a few weeks, and be sure not to lift anything
>> that weighs more than 10 LBS.: for several weeks.
>>
>> Recovering from the first surgery was my first intensive introduction to PAIN and I now know,
>> that it did not have to be that way! I was in bed for several days and everytime I had to get up
>> out of bed to go to the bathroom, i experienced excruciating pain - it felt like acid was being
>> poured on my groin area.
>>
>> Taking a leak wasn't a problem, it was getting my carcass out of bed that hurt so much. There was
>> no pain while lying in bed. I'm usually fairly active physically, so for me this was hell. I
>> falsly assumed that I was supposed to spend the first few days after the operation lying in bed -
>> "taking it easy" -
>>
>> Don't make that mistake. STAY OUT OF BED - except during your normal sleeping hours... that is
>> unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise and move around - don't sit still for more
>> than an hour or two at a time.
>>
>> THE BEST ADVICE
>>
>> The recovery room nurse for the second operation told me that the best way to minimize pain and
>> to speed up the recovery would be to STAY UP, TO MOVE AROUND FREQUENTLY and TO STAY OUT OF BED as
>> much as possible
>>
>> He said to eat regular meals, to take walks, to sit up, to move around frequently, and to stay
>> out of bed except for the normal 6-8 hours of sleep time at night. He also said to take the meds
>> as needed
>> - typically for the first 2 to 4 days. After that you should find that the need for them starts
>> to taper off. Of course people recovering from these surgeries are not supposed to do any heavy
>> lifting or running for a few weeks.
>>
>> After a night's sleep - the meds have worn off and without them - for at least the first couple
>> of nights, getting out of bed would involve a lot of pain. So I've been taking a couple of the
>> painkillers prescribed to me, in bed about 20 mins before I get out of bed.
>>
>> The recovery room nurse also told me to put my hand over the incision and gently/firmly press
>> there before coughing, and to hold my hand there when walking if desired to provide additional
>> support. I'm doing that some of the time and it does seem to be helping.
>>
>> He also said taking deep breaths every now and then, would help accelerate the healing - by
>> increasing the oxygen intake.
>>
>> Also, you'll probably be walking slowly and like an old man (or woman) for a few days, but don't
>> worry, that too will pass. You should get a little bit better every day.
>>
>> ================
>>
>> My surgery was at 9 am Wed morning and I was home at 4 pm the same day. I walked around a bit
>> outside and inside and then took a nap for about an hour, got up and ate a light dinner, and
>> walked around for about half an hour. I was up moving around the house - reading, computer, and
>> tv that night til about 11 pm. Yesterday I did light chores around the house, and spent some time
>> reading and writing.
>>
>> I've been following the recovery room nurse's advice carrying on at home as I normally do on days
>> off, except there's been no lifting of anything over 10 lbs. The operation was abou 48 hours ago
>> -and I feel great. I will be back at work on Monday. The difference between the present recovery
>> and the one about 5 years ago is like the difference between night and day.
>>
>> My search on the web for information on hernia recovery advice was very disappointing - so I'm
>> posting this in hopes that it will help some folks to have a speedy recovery with minimal pain.
>>
>> I'd enjoy reading comments from others who have had inguinal hernia operations and think that
>> others who will be getting an IH operation would too.
>>
>> Disclaimer: Since I'm NOT a medical professional - I think it's best if I encourage you to check
>> with your physician to get his/her professioanl opinion before following any of the suggestions
>> in this message. What you do or don't do doing the recovery period is very important - so for
>> your own good, please make sure that you give it the consideration that it deserves.
>>
>> All the best,
>>
>> BRW
>>
>> ================
>>
>> www.commondreams.org and www.democracynow.org = two good American sources for national and
>> international news without a bunch of corporate spin.
>>
>> ==================
>>
>> The World Teacher's Top Two Priorities (inspire mankind to...) Share the world's resources &
>> Restore the earth's ecological balance http://www.share-international.org
post #4 of 65

Re: inguinal hernia recovery advice

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brw
[B]I just had my second inguinal hernia repair day before yesterday.

I'm scheduled for an operation on April 1. It's also an inguinal hernia on my left side. I had a umbilical hernia repaired back in the early 80s but have only a dim memory of how that went. My main question is whether or not I'll be able to drive home from the surgery or if I should arrange for someone else to drive me. I have a pretty high tolerance level for pain. (Did deep breathing for a wisdom tooth extraction and had several teeth drilled and refilled without any anaesthetic) My only concern is whether or not there would be some risk for disruption of the screen or tearinig of any stitches.
post #5 of 65

I know I am responding to a post from a few, more than a few, years ago but no one answered this question.

Drive yourself home? Absolutely not!

I had my surgery a little over a week ago. I had laparoscopic inguinal hernia mesh repair. I was under general anesthesia and an honorary "Space Cadet" for about 12 hours. Bring a responsible adult. Don't stop even for medicine on the way home. Send someone out for that.

 

The rest of this is my opinion. I have not a physician or certified in any way to give advice. Between my advice and your doctor's, take their advise.

 

I was starving and still on my home planet when I got home so, ate soup and ice cream. When you top that with Lortab, it's a great way to eat in reverse -puke- Not nice after abdominal surgery. Eat light your first meal home. Crackers, broth, gello. Basically a clear liquid diet. Ease into the Lortab, assuming that is what they gave you. I'd start with 1/2 then work my way to 2 if you need. Go easy the constipation can get pretty bad. Expect up to 4 days before you can expect to "blast one out". And remember no pushing. Take your Miralax (Citra Cell, whatever) everyday. No laxatives. Also, I recommend you take your little bathroom helper everyday, or every other depending on how it works for you, for at least a week. As your doctor, but if I miss a day, Whoa Nelly.

I've been told a little scrotum shrink / expand cycling is normal. It looks a feels a bit funny, but not harm and not pain. Hugging a pillow when coughing and sneezing is a great idea. Pressing on your mesh area while walking another good idea, You also get an excuse to look like a rapper as you appear to be grabbing your crouch.

 

Well, that's my one week post op advise. I have stopped taking Lortab, but don't fault anyone that needs to continue. I can walk very easily and even went to the Mall with my wife. Find a chair every 20 minutes of so. I recommend no tobacco or booze for at least 2 weeks post-op. I had a beer last night, but it tasted funny and did not make me feel all mellow and warm inside.

I still have steri strips and some pretty ugly bruise and some swelling. I am very fit, but it looks like I have a small pot belly. Of course after almost 2 months without a workout, maybe I am fat. 

 

Good luck

post #6 of 65

I wish I knew the cause of this hernia for a person at the age of 29. Only my IT manager managed to find this post for me. I can say it's helpful.

 

Went for an op; 9am I was in theatre and 10:15am I was awoke in the ward. After the dizzyness, something like an hour later, there was no one to drive me home, so I had to drive myself home. I believe if I was paying more attention into the pain, it was going to be more painful than concentrating on the driving.

 

Three - four days later, I was able to walk contentedly except for the old man/woman walk just to be cautious. I wouldn't avoid that feeling of acid being poured on my groin. A week later I was driving to work without taking any meds.

 

Question: What will happen to the synthetic mesh BRW mentioned? I presume it's the one that causes the pain when sitting dangerously.

 

Done, Re PHELA SoH!

post #7 of 65

I know this post is old but I will reply in case someone reads from it and learns from it.  I am a general surgeon btw.

1) If you think of the abdomen as a room with intestines and organs in it, there are areas of the walls of the rooms that are weaker than others.  Just like a room, where windows and doors serve as weak points, the abdomen has them too.  The umbilicus and the inguinal areas are 2 such places.  The umbilicus is where the umbilical cord used to go through and the inguinal canal is the area where the testicles descended from around the kidneys into the scrotum.  There are cords and vessels that run through those canals.  Those areas are weaker than the other parts of the walls, unless you've been operated on before, in which case the site of the incisions are also weak areas.  A hernia is a hole in the wall of the abdomen through which the internal organs can protrude out of, which also includes fat.  Any stress on the wall of the abdomen will increase the likelihood of herniation.  Genetics is a big component since not all walls are the same strength.  Heavy lifting, chronic cough, constipation, enlarge prostate, smoking, diabetes, obesity all are stresses that place increased pressure on the wall.

 

2) If you ever get a hernia, it can be repaired in the manner that the OP mentioned.  Typically it takes 8 wks for the wall to gain 80% of its original strength.  So the recommended length of no lifting or exercise is at least 8 wks.  I typically tell pts 12 wks to be on the safe side if they are athletic like I suspect most on this site are.  Physical therapy is not needed for this recovery.  Time will take care of the healing.  The first week or two are somewhat painful but it progressively gets better.  After any non-orthopedic surgery, walking is very beneficial.  Keep the wound clean with daily showers.  Prune juice and metamucil will keep the constipation from the pain meds away or to a minimum.

 

3) The synthetic mesh stays there forever.  It gets incorporated into the tissue.  It causes scarring and is part of the wall of the abdomen now.  

post #8 of 65

Thanks. Mine came on during the off season hiking, had no idea what it was. Then noticed a slight pain while cycling, and one day a protrusion. Surgery was 4 days ago, and I wish I had read the post earlier. I am taking it easy, walking, and doing light housework with out heavy lifting. So far so good. Dropped the pain meds after 48 hrs. Just ibuprofen now. Good advice from all in this forum.

post #9 of 65

Hey everybody, new to the forums, actually just found it trying to find some info. on hernia recovery. I'm about 2 weeks out of a bilateral inguinal hernia repair, the left was a actaul hernia while the right was a sports hernia. For the most part the right has given little trouble or pain but the left has hurt significantly more, and while it doesn't hurt near as bad as it did the left still hurts quite a bit, right by the scrotum. The pain feels kind of like it is from swelling, but nothing looks too swollen any more. Is this normal? I mean that is wear the doc said he felt the hernia, but I'm just terrified that this pain won't go away before i have to go back to work, in about a month. Is this because that was the side with the actual hernia? I'm not quite sure what is required to repair a hernia, all I really know is that they used mesh. If any one has any info it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

post #10 of 65

My surgery was 10 days ago. I started back at the gym, tread mill, light nautilus , and finally three days ago. Stationery bike. Today 16 miles on my road bike. Each day any pain decreases. Movement helps.  When do you go back for stitches/staples to be removed? Have u spoken to your doctor ?

important to ICE THE AREA TO REDUCE SWELLING AND PAIN COUPLE TIMES A DAY.

post #11 of 65

There are no staples or stitches to remove, they glued the incisions, and used steri strips. I've been to the doctor once, he said it all looks normal, I go back next week, for another check up. Pain isn't as bad as it was but still very noticeable, still feels like some swelling but can't really see it. Pain was not bad yesterday so I did some light work ( what I consider light work anyhow) around the house, and that evening pain seemed to be worse. I've kept moving, so I don't know if I'm on my feet too much or what? Would I know/feel if the mesh had come loose? The pain feels very similiar to when I had my vasectomy, which took several months to really not notice. I'm just hopeing everything worked like supposed to, I DO NOT want to go through that surgery again! Thanks again for all replies!

post #12 of 65

I'm so happy I found this post. I had a very similar experience 10 years ago when I had my first open inguinal hernia surgery . It was on the right side. I was sent home with drugs and very little recovery advice. I was told to rest and not lift anything. So I rested and popped the pills every 4 hours. I experienced piercing pain 2 days later when I tried to sit up or do anything that required ab support. Coughing and sneezing were brutal and my first BM was a "solid" nightmare.  I think the recovery took a month and a half

 

So you can imagine I wasn't looking forward to my new left side open hernia surgery that I just had 7 days ago. I did my research this time and found this post. I followed the advice here and my doctor confirmed that I should stay up and move around.

 

I walked around the afternoon of the surgery, when I caught myself zoning out on the recliner do to the pain killers, I got up and walked around more. I slept 7 hours a night on a lift chair/recliner which was easy to get out of. I also iced the area for the first 2 days for 20 minutes at a time, I think it helped control the swelling. I continued to walk as much as possible for the first 72 hours.

 

I ate light but popped "colace" with every meal to ease the upcoming terror dump. I stopped taking the pain killers 48 hours after and continued to move around. Also picked up an elevated toilet seat which was a big help. On the 3rd day I took some milk of magnesium to get things moving and had an ugly but pain free BM.

 

on the 4th day I was still a little slow but feeling much better, a couple of minor pains but only because I might have moved awkwardly.

 

It's 7 days later and I feel great. It's comparable to a month and a half after my first surgery. To recap, here's a couple things that I think were a huge help:

 

• BRM's post, great advice.

• A motorized lift chair. They also recline fully. "Catnapper" makes them.

• Lift seat for the toilet

• find a list of easy-to-digest foods and follow it while you're on painkillers

• take colace with every meal

• drink some milk of magnesium when you're ready to get things moving

post #13 of 65

I am really happy I found this thread.

 

I had mesh surgery to repair an inguinal hernia on my left side in March 2012.  Unfortunately, I got one on my right side and had it repaired on July 20, 2012.

 

I followed similar procedures to everybody above, stayed up as much as possible after the first day or two.  Took pain medicine only for the first few days after my surgery.

 

I am still experiencing some minor discomfort where the actual break in the abdominal wall was repaired.  I had mesh put in and I don't think it's shifted or moved, as my groin feels perfectly fine.  The pain is only when there is pressure (have to use the restroom or when I've been on my feel a lot).  I started riding my bike after five weeks and I'm afraid it might have been too soon.

 

Does anybody else feel achy or sore in the area that was originally torn after the procedure?  Also, at what point did everybody get back to their normal routine and workouts?

post #14 of 65

I had laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair with mesh on Monday, September 10, 2012.  I'm 43, in good shape, workout regularly and have about 10% BF.  My surgeon said that my fitness made the actual surgery better and would benefit me greatly in recovery.

I've never had real surgery before and this was rough.  Simple things in the days after surgery hurt - getting up, sitting (or laying) down, using the bathroom, stairs, you name it - it was all painful.  Luckily after a few days the pain wasn't as bad and I stopped the prescribed oxycodone.

Having a bowel movement was probably the greatest challenge and my biggest worry. Fortunately I had read on forums like this to get a stool softener such as Colace, because neither the doctor or the nurses mentioned that a side effect of many pain medications was constipation.  I also increased my fiber intake to about 50-60g per day.  The cereal - Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters - has 11g of fiber per one cup serving.  I also ate tons of raw fruit and vegetables.  It's best to avoid caffeine (coffee) and fatty meats as they can make constipation worse. Drink plenty of water as it will help soften your stool as well.  I recommend keeping track of exactly how much fiber you're getting (write it down or use an app like Lose-it) so you can be sure you're getting enough.

Also don't make the mistake of taking a laxative (stick to a stool softener).  Laxatives can cause gas and cramps.  

I recommend buying an ice-bag as you will need to ice where the hernias were (not necessarily the laparoscopic entry wounds).  I iced frequently and 4 days (versus the recommended 2 days) as it provided alot of pain relief.

 

Now that I'm 8 days post surgery, I feel like my waist is growing and I'm anxious for my 4 week visit with the surgeon hoping that he will release me to some sort of physical activity.

post #15 of 65

what luck to find this site and I'm an old biker junkie too (62)...

 

I had inguinal hernia surgery four days ago and was beginning to wonder if I shouldn't be further along in my recovery than I am now.  after reading the posts down this far, I think I'm proceeding on schedule...

 

my surgery was open and not laprascopic: reason being the need to get a mesh patch inside the abdominal wall as well as a patch on the outside, then the two are sewn together through the ab wall.  it's bomb-proof, but is a more serious surgical procedure and requires a longer recovery period.

 

I had surgery around 8:00 am and my wife came and got me a little after 10:00 am.  thank god she was there to drive me home.  even under the influence of the pain meds, I was in pain and for sure had not yet come out of the effects of the anesthesia.  they want you to have a driver.

 

got home and don't remember what I did, but I know I was up and about some, but think I just took it easy and tried not to hurt too bad. seem to remember icing the area on and off all day. 

 

took pain meds twice that day, last time just before bed.  slept great and got up feeling pretty good...until I coughed.  

 

I knew I didn't want to cough, but my throat was raw from having been intubated by the anesthesiologist and as I was trying to gingerly clear my throat, I suddenly coughed.  I warn you, be prepared for any coughing.  stout pillow hugged to the abdomen works well, better if you hunch over the pillow as you clutch it to your body.

 

prior to surgery I did not have a bowel movement that morning, so that clock had started the day before.  I hate being constipated and I also don't like taking pain meds, consequently I didn't take any more pain medication after that first night and on the second morning I had a telephone pole bowel movement that took about ten minutes to push out.  what a relief, even if it did plug up the toilet for the next couple hours. I had taken a prescribed stool softener the night before.

 

pain was endurable, and I iced the area on and off all the second day when I was between bouts of minor activity: mostly walking around outside, getting the paper and the mail, and taking the dogs out to do their thing.

 

sleeping at night became a routine of lying on my left side with the surgery up (on right side) to get to sleep and then slowly shifting back and forth between on that side, flat on my back, and over onto my left side very carefully.  it definitely hurt more when the surgery was down.

 

the second night I realized there was fluid under my skin that I could move around with my fingers.  by the third day the fluid had gravitated down into my scrotum and turned my enlarged testicles a nice blue and red.  the doc told me this would happen.

 

now on this fourth day out, things haven't changed much.  still lots of pain and discomfort.  no sudden movements and no prolonged activity.  I'm still icing quite a bit and sleeping well.  regular bowel movements every day and good appetite.

 

I want to address the pain.  my procedure that I have described not only takes longer to convalesce, but it involves more pain associated with it.  the pain is somewhere between 5 and 8 most of the time, usually closer to 5, but it isn't hard to hit 8.  just cough.

 

pain is pretty much your constant companion after this surgery, so don't be alarmed if things still hurt pretty bad four days out.  I expect to feel bad pain and discomfort for the next week at least. 

 

the continuous pain and it's level of intensity is why I was concerned that maybe I wasn't moving along towards recovery any faster.  after reading others' accounts of this procedure, I now think I'm in the recovery window of where I should be at this time.  I won't be riding my bike anytime soon, I'm pretty sure of that. nor will I be digging out our septic tank.  but I can water our new lawn and walk the dogs up the gravel road past our house, and as time goes by, I will get back into the swing of things and be happy for the repair job that I got earlier this week.

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