Recovery from hernia mesh surgery can take weeks. Most people are able to return to work a week or two after surgery. Follow-up visits with the surgeon can prevent serious complications.
If you or a loved one suffered complications or injury after hernia mesh surgery, you may have legal options.
It can take four to six weeks to recover from hernia mesh surgery. The patient’s health affects recovery. Complications can prolong a patient’s recovery time. Healing can take a full year.
Pain may vary from one patient to the next. Patients can usually manage pain with over-the-counter medicines.
Some patients may need stronger pain medicines to control their discomfort after surgery. These pain medicines can have side effects.
Patients can expect laparoscopic hernia mesh recovery to be about the same as open repair recovery. This includes inguinal hernia surgery recovery time, umbilical (belly button) hernia surgery recovery and femoral hernia surgery recovery.
Most patients can go home from the hospital the same day as their surgery. Patients should have someone available to take them home from the hospital. They should not drive for a few days.
The surgical team will move patients to a recovery room immediately after surgery. Patients can expect to experience postoperative nausea, pain, dizziness and fatigue. All should subside as the anesthesia wears off.
Over-the-counter pain medicines such as Tylenol can sometimes control pain after hernia surgery. Some patients may need a stronger pain medicine.
Doctors may prescribe opioids or narcotics (i.e. morphine or oxycodone – Percocet). Patients may only need stronger drugs for the first two days after surgery.
Pain medicines have several side effects including nausea, constipation and sleepiness.
Recovering from hernia mesh surgery requires patience. Simple tasks may become difficult or awkward. Patients should try to have someone stay with them for a few days.
Patients should not shower for at least a day after the procedure.
Patients may feel tired or confused for two to three days. This can be a side effect of general anesthesia or pain medicine. Patients should not drive, drink alcohol or make any major decisions during this time.
Hernias can come back after hernia mesh surgery. It is important to avoid physical exertion that can cause hernia recurrence. The doctor will advise when it is safe to lift or carry things. Patients should also ask for their doctors’ advice on when it is safe to return to work.
Patients should begin to “feel normal” again about four to six weeks after surgery.
Recovering from hernia mesh surgery can be uncomfortable at best. At worst, it can lead to serious complications. Following the surgeon’s instructions and a few simple guidelines can improve recovery.
The doctor will schedule follow-up appointments one or two weeks after surgery. These are to make sure the patient’s recovery is progressing without complications.
Patients experiencing certain symptoms following hernia repair surgery should contact their doctor immediately. These can be signs of serious complications or hernia mesh failure.
People can have inflammatory reactions to hernia mesh. These are usually a sign of infection. But in rare cases, materials in the mesh may trigger the body’s immune response. The symptoms can be similar to infection following hernia mesh surgery.
Patients should take frequent short walks beginning right after surgery. But returning to other physical activity depends on the patient and the procedure. People may be able to walk up to a few miles a day in the first couple of weeks.
Most people will be able to resume full activity two weeks after hernia mesh surgery. It can be as long as four weeks with non-mesh hernia surgery. A doctor can determine when an individual patient is ready.
Patients can resume sexual activity usually within four weeks. Generally, patients can resume having sex as soon as it is no longer painful. Patients should consult with their doctor about when they can resume.
A 2016 study found sexual activity improves following hernia repair. Hernias can make having sex painful. Researchers looked at patients before and after hernia repair. They found that after repair, patients found sex less painful and more enjoyable.
Constipation can lead to hernia recurrence. Mesh can detach if a patient strains too much following hernia mesh surgery.
Some patients may not have a bowel movement for up to five days. This is normal. Patients should talk to their doctor about ways to relieve constipation.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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