Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery is a minimally invasive procedure involving small incisions, a tiny camera and digital imageries. The surgery aims to repair the hernia with a mesh, says Dr. Purnendu Bhowmik, a hernia specialist doctor in Kolkata.
Compared to open surgery, the recovery process is faster in the case of laparoscopic surgery. However, there are certain things that patients should keep in mind to sail through the recovery period without complications.
Things to keep in mind after laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery
There is no particular diet restriction that patients need to follow post-surgery. However, some patients may experience poor appetite for a couple of weeks. This is nothing to be alarmed about as poor appetite is a natural reaction to stress after surgery. According to hernia specialists in Kolkata, a patient’s appetite should return to normal in time. But, if they find themselves persistently nauseated or unable to take in liquids, it is essential to consult a doctor.
After surgery, it takes between 1 – 5 days for the first bowel movement to occur. As long as patients do not feel nauseated or experience abdominal pain, this variation in days is acceptable. It is also common to pass more gas from the rectum than usual because patients will not be able to belch. Some patients may suffer from diarrhoea or constipation for the first days after the surgery; however, it is not a cause of concern. In most cases, the bowel function returns to normal with time.
Patients can shower after 36 hours of their surgery. Band-Aids on the incisions should be removed before showering; however, the little pieces of tape (steri-strips) should be kept attached. They will begin to peel up on the ends about 7 – 10 days after surgery and patients can remove them afterward. Bathing for extended periods and bathing in pools or hot tubs should be avoided for two weeks.
Doctors do not place any physical restrictions on activity after surgery. Patients can walk, lift, have sexual intercourse, or do light exercises as long as it doesn’t hurt. Returning to regular activity as soon as possible enhances patients’ recovery, says Dr. Purnendu Bhowmik, a hernia surgeon in Kolkata. However, patients should not rush into any activities and let their body be the guide for a week or two after surgery.
Some patients may feel that their hernia recurred right after surgery. This is a normal feeling and the condition is called seroma. Seroma is a collection of fluid that fills up the place where the hernia contents were and is a normal result of surgery. The body will usually absorb the fluid in few weeks.
Pain (male patients)
Male patients may experience pain and their scrotum may be slightly swollen or tender. Doctors recommend oral pain medications along with ice packs to relieve discomfort.
When to call a doctor?
Dr. Purnendu Bhowmik, a laparoscopic hernia surgeon in Kolkata, says that patients should call their surgeon upon experiencing the following symptoms:
- Pain that increases over time
- Fever to 100.4 °F or greater
- Persistent nausea or inability to consume liquids
- Shaking chills
- Redness, warmth, or draining of pus from incision sites