Hernia Repair (Adult)
A hernia is a bulge where bowel pushes through a weak area in the groin, abdomen, or old incision. There are many types of hernias. You will have a(n) _______________________ hernia repair.
Bowel Prep -The Day before Surgery
You need to buy the stool softener, docusate sodium (ColaceÒ). Take one in the morning and one in the evening. If another type of bowel prep is needed it will be discussed with you at
your pre-surgical work up.
Expect the wound to be pink, swollen and numb. You may also have a bruised penis shaft if you had an inguinal hernia repair. This is normal.
1. Leave the bandage on for 1 day. Then, remove it and look at your wound daily. If you notice signs of infection call your doctor.
- Increasing redness or warmth
- Pus-like drainage or blood
- Increased swelling
- Temperature by mouth above 100.4°F for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart
- Wear a Band-Aid® if your wound is draining, rubbing on your clothes, or in a skin fold. Change the Band-Aid® at least once each day and if it gets wet. Do not use lotion, powder, or ointment on the wound.
Keep the wound dry for 2 days. Sponge bathe or cover it with plastic wrap during a shower. You may shower without the wrap after 2 days. Do not soak in a hot tub, bath, or swim until it is healed, this may be at least 2 weeks.
It's normal to have pain, swelling, and numbness of the wound and area around it. Your doctor will order pain pills for you.
You may use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel on your wound for 20 minutes, then off for 20 minutes to decrease pain and swelling. Males may also use a rolled up wash cloth or towel to elevate a swollen scrotum. Males should also wear support briefs instead of boxer shorts.
1. For the first 4-6 weeks, do not lift more than 20 pounds.
2. After 4-6 weeks, slowly increase your level of activity. Your doctor will talk with you about when you can get back to your normal routine. You will have a follow-up visit in 7-14 days.
3. Standing or lying down puts less strain on your wound than sitting upright. You may feel more comfort sitting in a reclining chair.
4. Check with your doctor before going back to work.
5. Sexual activity may be resumed when you feel ready, which may not be for 2 to 3 weeks.
6. Do not drive for 1 week after surgery. Do not drive if you are taking narcotic pain pills or if you have trouble sitting for long.
- Watch for any new bulge at your wound site.
- Do not strain during a bowel movement or hold your breath.
- While coughing, sneezing, laughing or during a bowel movement firmly press on your wound with your hand for extra support.
A diet with enough fiber and water should help to prevent constipation.
Eat a balanced diet each day to include:
- 8-10 (8 oz.) glasses of fluids a day (water, juice, tea, etc.).
- At least 4 servings of fruits or vegetables.
- At least 2-4 servings of whole grain bread or cereal.
You may want to increase fiber in your diet slowly to avoid bloating and gas. You may need to use a stool softener and/or a bulk fiber laxative to prevent problems. Buy these over the counter at your drugstore. Follow package directions.
When to Call the Doctor
- If you have not had a bowel movement 3 days after surgery. You may need a laxative.
- Temperature by mouth over 100.4°F for two readings, four hours apart.
- Excess scrotal swelling or pain. Some testicular and scrotal swelling is common.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Increased redness or warmth of wound.
- Pus-like drainage or blood from wound.
- Pain not controlled by pain pills.
- Rapid or excess bruising. Some bruising is normal.
Surgery Clinic: 608-263-7502 Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
This is a 24 hour/day number. After hours, weekends, or holidays you will reach a paging operator.
Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. ________________________________.
Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1- 800-323-8942
Spanish Version of this HFFY is #5431
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/25/2013
Copyright © 07/25/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4431
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