Ventral Hernia Repair
Ventral hernias develop after abdominal incisions in at least 10 percent of patients. They generally cause a bulge along the abdominal incision. They may or may not be painful. We generally repair them to prevent complications such as bowel obstruction. The surgery can vary from a small operation done with a local anesthetic to a large operation requiring general anesthesia and a two or three day hospital stay. Accordingly, such procedures are done in the surgery center or the hospital, depending partly on the hernia size, location and complexity.
Activity After The Operation
Because mesh is often used to strengthen the repair, you will likely be asked to get up and walk around and resume normal activities. You are not to lift heavy objects, however. You may drive when you can operate a vehicle with no discomfort.
Ask your doctor when you may return to work.
You may be given a narcotic pain reliever. If your pain is milder, use Extra Strength Tylenol or Ibuprofen instead. Most prescription pain medications cause constipation and may intensify your discomfort. You should drink liquids and take Milk of Magnesia (one to two tablespoons) or Metamucil (one tablespoon in a glass or water) as needed. Do not drive or drink alcohol while on narcotic pain medication.
You can resume your regular diet. However, it is advisable that you eat smaller portions and drink plenty of water and other liquids.
You may remove the dressing and shower the day after surgery. Do not soak in a tub, hot tub or swimming pool. Keep your incisions covered with gauze to prevent rubbing on clothing.
An elevated temperature is common. However, if you have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, call your doctor immediately.
We will want to see you one to two weeks following surgery. If the incision develops redness or you have foul smelling drainage, please come in sooner.