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Recovering From Inguinal Hernia Repair: What To Expect at Home

Recovering From Inguinal Hernia Repair: What To Expect at Home

A hernia is a condition in which an organ pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue that’s trying to hold the organ in place. If this occurs in the abdomen, it’s called an inguinal hernia. And specifically, this condition occurs when an organ pushes through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall.

Studies show that approximately 27% of men and 3% of women develop this type of hernia at some point in their life. Signs of an inguinal hernia often include:

These symptoms often worsen with strain, such as lifting, coughing, or standing for a long time. Similarly, they usually ease once you rest or lie down. Even so, hernias require prompt expert care to avoid serious complications.

Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, of Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney, Texas, is an expert in treating hernias. He often uses minimally invasive methods and laparoscopic techniques, which cause less trauma and allows for faster recovery times.

Recovery usually takes a few weeks, and Dr. deVilleneuve will give you a detailed guide on what you should do. But in the meantime, here’s an overview of what you can expect.

Wound care

You’ll need to avoid baths, hot tubs, and pools for two weeks after inguinal hernia repair, because engaging in these activities could increase your risk for infection at the surgical site. However, you should be able to begin showering after 12 hours

When showering, you should remove any Band-Aids or bandages that may be covering your incision, but you can leave the small pieces of tape (known as steri-strips) in place. These typically begin to peel up at the ends within 7-10 days, and you can remove them at this time if you wish. Otherwise, Dr. deVilleneuve can remove them during your post-op exam.


Inguinal hernia repair doesn’t require a special diet during the recovery process. However, it’s normal to notice changes in your appetite and bowel movements as you recover.


A poor appetite following surgery is the body’s normal reaction to stress, and it frequently lasts 1-2 weeks. However, if you struggle to take in fluids or have consistent nausea, contact Dr. deVilleneuve immediately.

Bowel movements

You can expect your first bowel movement to occur anywhere from 1 to 5 days after your surgery. It’s also common to pass a lot of gas, have diarrhea, or experience constipation from your pain medication.

Dr. deVilleneuve recommends eating a nutritious diet with plenty of high-fiber foods to support your digestive health and the recovery process.


While there aren’t usually many medical or physical restrictions after minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair, you should use good judgment and let your pain be your guide. More simply put? If it hurts or doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t do it.

You should take it easy and rest when you need to. And, you should keep this in mind when it comes to returning to work. While it may be tempting to head back as soon as possible, you should expect to take off 1-2 weeks.

Lastly, while you should rest when you need to, you should know that being a couch potato usually isn’t the best option. This is because physical activity often enhances the recovery process.


Finally, as with any surgery, you should expect some discomfort after your procedure. The good news is that minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair typically causes less pain than open procedures with a large incision.

Male patients may find their scrotum feeling slightly swollen or tender, but pain medications and ice packs can ease symptoms. And, if it feels like your hernia has returned at some point, don’t worry! You’re likely experiencing seroma, which is a temporary condition that occurs from postoperative fluid in the area. It typically fades within a few weeks.

Furthermore, depending on the pain medications you’re prescribed, you may be instructed to not drive your car for at least two days after you stop taking them.

Do you need expert care for an inguinal hernia? Get the help you need by calling 972-525-0245 or booking an appointment online with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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