What to Expect After Abdominal Hernia Repair

You will most likely have pain for a few days following hernia surgery. You may also feel tired and drained of energy. This is quite common.

You should feel better in a few days and will feel substantially better in seven days.

When you move for several weeks, you may experience discomfort or pulling in the hernia repair. You may have minor bruising near the repair site. This is normal.

Here is how you can care for yourself at home after hernia surgery:


  • When you're exhausted, take a break. Getting enough sleep will help you to recover.

  • Walk every day. Begin by walking a little further than you did the day before. Walking increases blood flow and aids in the prevention of pneumonia and constipation.

  • If your doctor prescribes an abdominal binder, follow the instructions carefully. This is a bandage that wraps over your stomach and upper hips. It aids in the recovery of your abdominal muscles following surgery.

  • Strenuous activities, such as biking, running, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, should be avoided until your doctor gives the all-clear.

  • Avoid lifting anything that will put you under strain. Heavy shopping bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, a vacuum cleaner, or a toddler are all examples.

  • Inquire with your doctor about when you will be able to drive again.

  • Most people can return to work within one to two weeks of having surgery. However, if your profession includes heavy lifting or physical activities, you may need to take 4 to 6 weeks off.

  • Showering is permitted 24 to 48 hours after surgery if your doctor permits. Dry the incision. Do not bathe for the first two weeks, or until your doctor says it is safe.

  • Ask your doctor when is it safe for you to have sex.


  • You can continue to consume your regular diet. Try bland, low-fat foods such as plain rice, broiled chicken, bread, and yogurt if your stomach is unsettled.

  • Drink plenty of water, unless your doctor says otherwise.

  • You may notice that your bowel movements are irregular immediately following surgery. This is quite common. Constipation and bowel straining should be avoided. Every day, you should think about taking a fiber supplement. Consult your doctor about using a mild laxative if you haven't had a bowel movement in a few days.


  • Your doctor will tell you when and if you can resume taking your medications. You will also be given information on how to use any new medications.

  • If you stop taking aspirin or another blood thinner, your doctor will inform you when to resume taking it.

  • Take precautions when handling medications. Take pain relievers exactly as prescribed.

  • Take antibiotics exactly as advised by your doctor. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You must finish the entire course.

Incision care

  • If the doctor used tape to close the cut (incision), leave it on for a week or until it falls off. Alternatively, remove the tape according to your doctor's recommendations.

  • If you have staples that are closing the cut, you must return to your doctor in 1 to 2 weeks to have them removed.

  • Every day, wash the area with warm, soapy water and pat it dry. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, both of which can impede recovery. Wrap the wound with a gauze bandage if it weeps or scrapes against clothing. Change the bandage daily.

Other instructions

  • When coughing or taking big breaths, place a pillow over your incision. This will help to support your stomach and relieve pain.

  • Do the breathing exercises prescribed by your doctor at home. This will aid in the prevention of pneumonia.

  • You may develop shoulder aches if you underwent laparoscopic surgery. The discomfort normally lasts a day or two.

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