The term 'hernia' refers to a bulge that occurs when a part of an internal organ or tissue protrudes through a weak area in the wall of the body cavity that contains that organ or the tissue. As the name suggests, abdominal hernia occurs when tissues or a part of the intestine bulges through a tear in the abdominal wall. Surgery is recommended in case of incarcerated and strangulated hernia. In case of the former, tissues become trapped in the herniated sac. The latter is said to occur when the blood supply to the herniated tissue gets cut off, which in turn could lead to the death of the tissue. This is a medical emergency.
Recovery Time for Hernia Repair Surgery
In a hernia repair surgery, the organ or the tissue that protrudes through the wall is pushed back and the tear in the wall is closed. The duration of the recovery period would vary, depending on the type of surgery.
Type of Surgery
The time taken by the patient to recover would depend on the type of surgery. An open surgery is an invasive technique wherein a large incision is made. On the other hand, a laparoscopic hernia repair (keyhole surgery) is minimally invasive. In laparoscopic repair, small incisions are made, and a small laparoscope (an tube-like instrument that has a camera fitted on one end) is inserted through an incision. The images of internal organs that are captured by the camera are observed on a video monitor. The surgeons refer to these images to locate the herniated sac, which is then pushed back. Thereafter, the tear in the wall is repaired. In case of an open surgery, the recovery period is about 3-4 weeks. On the other hand, the patient might take around a week to recover from a keyhole surgery.
Recovery depends on the overall health of the patient, and his/her response to the treatment. Though the patients who have undergone a keyhole surgery may recover sooner than those who have undergone an open surgery, it's advisable to follow certain self-care measures.
➞ Once the effect of anesthesia wears off, the patient is likely to experience pain at the site of incision. He/she might have to take analgesics for alleviating the post-operative pain. Thus, it is advisable not to perform activities where you require to handle machinery.
➞ Complete rest is advised for a couple of days. Thereafter, the patient can walk around. It has been observed that patients experience fatigue even after performing mild activities. Thus, don't exert yourself.
➞ Precautions must be taken to ensure that the wound doesn't get infected. Care must be taken till the stitches dissolve. The dressings should be changed, as and when needed. During this time, the patient needs to take precautions while taking a bath.
➞ Individuals who have undergone a keyhole surgery can resume work after a week, provided their work doesn't involve strenuous physical activities.
➞ Avoid lifting heavy things. If your work involves strenuous physical activities, it is advisable to resume work after 2-4 weeks.
➞ It is advisable not to drive for a week, as driving can put pressure on the incisions.
➞ Use an abdominal support, if advised by the doctor.
➞ Make sure that you follow a fiber-rich diet. Drink plenty of water. This is essential to prevent constipation. Also, follow a balanced diet.
On a concluding note, measures must be taken to prevent an infection. Also, follow the aforementioned measures to speed up the healing process. In case of any discomfort, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.