Soon after surgery, you'll be ready to go home. Before sending you home, the staff will probably make sure that you can eat, drink, urinate, and walk. You may receive a prescription for pain medication in case you feel discomfort in the area of your incision when you are at home. The incision itself will be covered with a bandage or with DERMABOND® Topical Skin Adhesive.
It is recommended that patients arrange to have help at home for a few days after surgery. Also, before leaving the hospital:
- Ask for a phone number to call in case you experience problems at home
- Ask how to make a follow-up appointment so that your recovery can be monitored
- If the incision from your hernia repair is covered with a bandage, ask your doctor or nurse when you should remove it
Driving is generally not recommended for 48 hours following surgery because the effects of the anesthesia will still be present in your body. Driving may also put a strain on the incision site, so your doctor may ask that you wait a while to drive. In addition, if you are taking pain medication, you may not be able to drive or operate machinery. If you are unsure if you should drive, ask your doctor.
During the first few days of your recovery, you may notice some swelling or discoloration around the incision site, which is normal. It is also normal for the incision site to be bruised, tender, or numb. You should be careful while bathing or showering so that you do not wet your incision for a few days. It is also important to prevent constipation, which can put a strain on your incision. This is especially prudent if you are taking pain medications, as these can sometimes cause constipation. It is helpful to eat foods that are high in fiber and to drink plenty of fluids, such as water and fruit juice.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you experience any of the following problems when you return home after surgery, call your doctor:
- Excessive swelling
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain that gets worse
After you have recovered from hernia surgery, you should be on your way to living life to the fullest. Be sure to follow-up with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.