Hernia can be corrected in most cases only through surgery that may be done using a laparoscope or conventional techniques. After surgery, 5% of the individuals may have the hernia return most likely because the organ finds a different way to slide and protrude through the large mass of muscle that is much weaker. For this reason, Hernia specialist advises patients to stop smoking forever, avoid lifting weights during the healing period, lose weight if obese and follow medications as prescribed.
Factors that determine what happens after hernia surgery
There are various factors that can differ the recovery time after hernia surgery. Such factors include:
- Type of hernia - The most common type of hernia that generally heal with fewer complications are inguinal hernias.
- Type of surgery - Laparoscopic or robotic hernia surgery offer quicker recovery as compared to open surgery.
- Age of the patient – Patients who undergo hernia surgery at a younger age, typically heal faster than older ones.
- Overall health – Recovery is faster in healthy patients than in patients with co-existing conditions.
- Expertise of hernia surgeon - having hernia surgery done by an experienced hernia surgeon lowers the risk of complications.
Recovery and downtime mostly depends on the type of hernia surgery
Surgery is usually the only treatment for hernia. Hernia can be corrected by surgery done using a laparoscope or conventional techniques. There are 3 types of hernia surgeries namely:
Open hernia surgery involves an incision made in the affected area, through which the surgeon pushes the organ inside its original place and the muscle sutured to hold the organ stronger in place. A mesh may be required to be placed to offer better support to the muscle.
Laparoscopic Laser hernia treatment in Chennai follows the same procedure as open surgery with the advantage of few small incisions is similar instead of a big incision. The Laparoscope and other surgical devices are inserted through the small incisions to perform the procedure. Laparoscopic treatment offers the advantages of quick recovery time, lower chances of infection, minimal pain and blood loss.
Robotic Hernia Surgery/Repair uses the same technique as laparoscopic surgery but the surgeon operates the surgical devices inserted through the incisions, with help of a computer that performs the procedure like a Robot. This procedure can be performed with the best precision and hence smaller hernias can be operated on. Improved versions of 3D Robotic surgeries give a clear 3D view of the body’s internal organs and are thus very useful.
What happens in the recovery room after hernia surgery
Immediate post operative recovery starts with waking from general anaesthesia in the recovery room. The team of anaesthesia and recovery room nursing will manage if there are any immediate discomforts after surgery. Some of the common discomforts in the recovery room include postoperative nausea, pain, dizziness and fatigue that will all fade away quickly. In case of general anaesthesia and the breathing tube inserted, the throat may feel sore for up to 3 days and this can be managed easily with lozenges.
Vital signs will be monitored and eventually the patient will be shifted from the bed into a chair, and given some light fluids to drink. Within about 2 hours after laparoscopic surgery, the patient can stand and even attempt walking slowly.
Discharge after hernia surgery
The patient is usually discharged from Hernia hospital in Chennai, after being able to pass urine and drink liquids without much discomfort of nausea or vomiting. The patient is also made sure to be able to walk without any dizziness. The average time for a patient to be discharged varies from 3-6 hours after the surgery ends.
On the same evening of the surgery, the patient is usually able to stand, walk, and climb stairs with some mild discomfort. On discharge, the patient is advised not to drive for the first 2-4 days, and until on pain medication. Specific instructions for wound care will be provided upon discharge from the hospital.
In general, you may remove the outer bandage after 2 days, and the white tape or skin glue after 7-10 days. When the patient is ready, he can get back to normal diet. The patient may be allowed to take shower on the first day after surgery, but bathing in the tub or swimming for 5 days is to be avoided.
Pain after hernia surgery
Hernia surgery is likely to feel sore and uncomfortable until the incision sites heal. Most people feel better in 2 weeks’ time unless there are other conditions affecting the healing period. It is possible get off pain medications within a few days after surgery. A laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair offers faster recovery that lasts from 2 to 14 days, associated with mild to moderate incisional pain and minimal groin discomfort.
The groin discomfort could be secondary to the gas used during surgery, dissection of hernia or placing of the mesh. By the 3rd or 4th week after surgery, pain and discomfort are completely gone. Less than 0.1% of patients are symptomatic by the end of 3 to 6 months’ period.
Downtime for activities after hernia surgery
Mild activities such as walk, using a treadmill, or a stationary bike without any resistance is recommended from the first day after surgery. Higher intensity exercises such as in a gym, running, or lifting heavy weights is generally restricted until 2 weeks after surgery or when pain from the surgery has completely gone.
Return to work without restrictions is usually possible after 3 – 7 days from surgery. A follow up with surgeon for best hernia treatment in Chennai is advisable within the first 2 weeks after surgery. A laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is rapid and hence it takes only up to 3 weeks for the patient to feel completely normal and get back to all activities.