Hernia Surgery Recovery: What To Expect After Operation

Hernia repair surgery is a common type of surgery. In this article, we will take a look at hernia surgery recovery and what to expect after the operation.

umbilical hernia

A hernia is a common medical condition on which much research has been carried out. Time and time again researchers have tried to identify the different types, the causes, symptoms, and even the treatment methods. And for most hernias the only way out is surgery. So for a hernia to be fixed a hernia repair surgery has to be carried out. There are different types of hernia repair surgery. And the type a doctor would use would be based on some factors. And also on your preference. 

Hernia repair surgery is actually one of the most common surgeries done. And also one of the easiest. Most hernia repair surgery wouldn’t take so much time. Most patients are able to go back home that day or the day after. And the good thing is that hernia repair surgery is actually safe and very effective. In most cases, you wouldn’t have to go back again for another surgery. There are two types of surgery. They are herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty. We’ve talked about these types a bit more as we go on. 

When Does Surgery Become Important 

There are different types of hernias. And they come in different sizes. Some hernias are really small. And they do not show any symptoms that affect the patients. While some are quite big and present with disturbing symptoms. When this is the case surgery is needed. 

Hernias don’t suddenly start showing symptoms. It takes about two years before the symptoms become really pronounced and unbearable. For some people, they wouldn’t even notice the hernia not until the do strenuous activities.

Now the big question is when does surgery become important? This is a very good question. Here’s a list of some symptoms that would be a warning sign that you need surgery. 

  • Chronic pain
  • Large hernia
  • Fast-growing hernias
  • Hernias at places that can cause complications
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness and irritation

Small hernias do not show these symptoms. But there’s no other treatment method for hernias. So if you want to have the hernia fixed you would have to undergo surgery. 

Types of Hernia Repair Surgery 


This is also known as tissue repair. This is actually the oldest type of hernia repair surgery. And it’s still being used. The surgeon would make an incision right over the hernia. Then the surgeon would use surgical tools in opening the cut. This way the surgeon would have access to the hernia. 

Then the surgeon would return the tissue or organ back to its place. And then the hernia sac would be removed. Right after the hernia has been removed then the surgeon would stitch you up. 


This hernia repair type is also known as mesh repair. In this method, the surgeon would use a sterile mesh. So instead of just stitching up the wound like that, the surgeon would cover it with a sterile mesh. The mesh is usually made of plastic plastics. It could also be made with animal tissue. 

The surgeon would make small holes around the hole. The shape of the mesh is followed in making the small cuts. Once that is done the surgeon would stitch the patch into surrounding tissues that are healthy.
So the weak surrounding tissues would use the mesh. The mesh would serve as a support for the damaged tissue to grow back.

The type of repair that would be done would depend on the type of hernia.

3 Major Types of Hernia

Reducible hernias

This is a type wherein the hernia can be pushed back into the opening it came out from.

Incarcerated hernia

This type is the opposite of the type mentioned above. The hernia can’t be pushed back through the hole it came out from.

Strangulated hernia

In this type, the organ or tissue is trapped in the hernia. And there is no blood supply to the organ or tissue. This type causes skin coloration. The skin would have a blue or black discoloration.

Either of the types of hernia surgery uses either open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery involves making a large incision. While laparoscopic involves making small cuts. In laparoscopic, there is a surgical device that helps the surgeon monitor the procedure. 

Recovery from Hernia Surgery

The recovery rate varies from person to person. And also there the type employed would also affect the recovery rate. But normally, full recovery from hernia surgery would just take 3-6 weeks. Most times after a week or two you would be able to return back to your normal activities.

For open surgery, it takes a bit longer for a full recovery. Laparoscopic surgery would take a shorter time for a full recovery. That’s one reason why many patients prefer laparoscopic surgery. 

After the surgery, your doctor would advise you to avoid strenuous activities. That’s to avoid opening of the stitch. Also, your doctor would prescribe pain relievers to help reduce whatever discomfort might feel. 

For the first few days after the surgery, you’re also advised to take fluids. That’s because heavy meals can apply a lot of pressure to the abdomen. And this can be dangerous. If you would eat anything a light meal would do. 

Many people notice a swelling of the incision after some days. It would appear red and swollen. Most times it’s usually painful. If this happens you can just get over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. You can also apply ice to that spot for 10 minutes every hour. It would help reduce inflammation. 

There are complications that could arise after the surgery. Some of these are difficulty urinating, constipation, infection, fever, urine leakage. If you notice any of these then you have to contact your doctor. That’s because they could be as a result of an underlying medical complication. These complications are not so common. But they could occur to anyone after a hernia repair surgery.

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