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Post-Operative Instructions After Hernia Repair

  1. The patient may resume a regular diet as soon as tolerated. Small frequent meals, to begin with may be tolerated easier in the early post-operative stage. Increase at your own pace. No diet restrictions apply related to a hernia(s) repair.

  2. The patient may experience either constipation or diarrhea after surgery and this may be caused by anesthesia, pain medications or reaction to surgery. This is not uncommon. The patient may take any over the counter medication(s) that have worked previously to correct the situation of diarrhea or constipation. Suggestions are: Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax tablets or suppositories as directed for constipation. Also increasing fluids such as water, juices, etc. will help with elimination. Suggestions for diarrhea include Pepto-Bismol and Imodium AD as directed for diarrhea. Also drinking Gatorade and BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) may help to alleviate and correct some of the side effects of diarrhea.

  3. The patient may shower 48 hours after surgery. The patient may remove the dressing at this time. The dressing may be replaced if the patient desires or left off. This is strictly the choice of the patient. Suggestion: Some patients state a light dressing to the to the incisional area(s) (which may drain) is more comfortable if the clothing at incision site(s) rubs or irritates. If the patient observes Steri-Strips (small strips of textured adhesive tape) at incisions or over sutures please leave intact. The patient may get them wet in the shower and pat dry. The sutures (if the patient has sutures) should be left intact.

  4. The patient needs to call the office for a post-operative appointment (569-6840). The patient will need to be seen in the office 1-2 weeks after the surgery date. Please call ahead for appointment. At the time of post-operative office visit, physical activity/work release will be discussed and release forms given.
  5. The patient may resume activity slowly. The patient may no t engage in strenuous activity or heavy lifting until cleared by physician, which can be discussed at post-operative appointment. However, the patient should listen to their body in response to certain activities. Gradually increase activities at a comfortable, individual pace. There are no restrictions regarding stairs, however the patient should be cautious initially and advance slowly.

  6. The patient may resume driving when not taking pain medication, which may impair judgment and response during driving. The patient should also feel capable of having physical strength and capability to respond quickly to any situation that may occur while driving.

  7. The patient may use ice to inciisonal sites post-operatively to decrease pain and/or swelling days 1 to 3. It is not at all uncommon for patient to have swelling and bruising at incision(s), which may extend to genital areas. This problem may be decreased by placing a rolled hand towel under the scrotum which will elevate the genital area to assist with decreasing the swelling. This is to be utilized while in bed or up in a chair. While patient is up and walking around, an athletic supporter is recommended to help with any swelling and to give support to swollen area for comfort.

  8. The patient may experience some drainage from the incisions, which is not uncommon. If patient experiences a small amount of bloody drainage, ice to the area should alleviate this. Any other drainage may be due to normal body response which a light dressing can be applied and changed as needed. The patient may also experience slight redness at incision ends where a suture may be noted. These areas can be cleaned a few times per day with hydrogen Peroxide and a Q-Tip. Bruising at these sites is not uncommon.

  9. Please contact the office should you develop any problems such as prolonged nausea/vomiting, temperature elevations above 101.5 or other difficulties.
*These recommendations are suggested for otherwise healthy post-operative patient without underlying health problems. Please call if there are any concerns or questions.

West County Surgical Specialists
At West County Surgical Center we are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of health issues. We specialize in the following


West County Surgical Specialists
621 S. New Ballas Road
Suite 7011B (Tower B)
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone (314) 251-6840
Fax (314) 251-7347

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