post-operative convalescence

Changes in the sensitivity of the skin in the area of the operation can occur after inguinal hernioplasty (anaesthesia, pain, tingling). Generally, these sensitivity problems resolve progressively over the arc of a few months.

In the first week there can be sharp pains when making movements that place the abdominal muscles under tension. Actually, the first two days are an outright ordeal, which is only relieved by intramuscular painkillers (together with anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant drugs, prescribed by the surgeon). During this week, it is essential to avoid driving, since, due to the pain, the legs may have reduced reflexes.

After 15 days the stitches are removed and it is possible to begin thinking about leading a normal social life, only avoiding physical activity and exertion. For the latter activities, it will be necessary to wait at least one month after surgery, and another 10 more days before gradually restarting physical activity.

In the meantime, movement is recommended, taking short relaxing walks, in order to allow better positioning of the mesh, but no exertion. Time and tranquillity are required.

Sometimes, the pain experienced in the groin region after a hernia operation can be due to unnatural movements, poor post-operative posture and gait, which normally resolve progressively over time.

However, if the pain continues, it would be advisable to be “re-examined” by the surgeon, who will decide on the best therapy.

Swelling or inflammation can appear in the testicular sac following surgery

Even though not entirely normal, the onset of swelling immediately after surgery is very frequent. It appears similar to the operated hernia, but is painless and does not re-enter on lying down or by pressing with the fingers.

It is reabsorbed by the body over approx. 3 months, becoming increasingly more fluid.

However, sometimes it is not completely reabsorbed and must be drained using a syringe. The reabsorption process can be accelerated using hot-moist packs, avoiding however the area above the wound.

Relapse, reappearance of the hernia

With modern surgical techniques, the likelihood of a hernia reappearing is less than one in every 50 operations. In order to avoid a relapse, at 40 days after surgery, when gradual physical activity is restored, it is advisable to follow the prevention exercises in order to strengthen the abdomen.

19 thoughts on “post-operative convalescence”

  1. I underwent an operation for an inguinal hernia with surgery at the scrotum, under general anaesthesia.
    The 7 stitches were removed after the 8th day. After approx. 12 days, I had discomfort at the testicles, as though the area was still swollen. I would like advice as to whether this is normal. Best regards.

    1. Hi Tiziano,
      12 days is still too early to be worried.
      There are cases where the discomfort persists for even a month.
      Did your physician prescribe anti-inflammatories?

  2. Hello
    I underwent surgery on 23/10/2010 for an inguinal hernia, and still today I feel slight discomfort where the hernia used to be, and also the area where the hernia was is very swollen. I would like to know if this is normal.
    I await your reply with interest
    Best regards

    1. Hi Giovanna,
      Before starting to worry, it is essential to wait at least a month.
      It has not even been 2 weeks since the operation and you only complain of slight discomfort, therefore it seems as though you are improving.
      But only the surgeon who performed the surgery, after a more thorough examination, can reassure you with certainty.

  3. 10 days after surgery for a hernia on the right side, the wound is clean with no reddening, but there is swelling as though there was fluid inside. I have no pain, but I am worried. Is this normal?

  4. I would like to know something:
    I have a left inguinal hernia and I am on the waiting list for an operation….. “HELP”
    I would like to know if it is normal to feel abdominal pains, or for the pain to pass after defecation.
    Is this all due to the hernia or something else? Thank you.

  5. I was operated on for an inguinal hernia on 2 May. The physician prescribed a laxative for me to go to the bathroom, but before taking it, I am trying to go to the bathroom by myself, but it hurts, is this normal???

    1. The laxative the physician prescribed is to aid the task so as to involve less exertion. It is normal to hurt in the beginning. You underwent surgery only a week ago, and you must give your body time to heal. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, it will help a lot.

  6. I was operated on about two months ago. Apart from some insignificant pain, I am worried about something hard inside the testicle, like a hernia that does not retract by pressing with the fingers. Do you think I should be worried and see a surgeon, or will it pass by itself. Many thanks.

  7. Hello, I underwent surgery on 15 December 2010 for a left inguinal/scrotal hernia. After approx. 10 days, I had sex with my girlfriend and after 15 days I gradually restarted skating. I believe I hurried the resumption of activities being anxious to return to “normality”. Indeed, unfortunately, from that time to now, despite repeated post-operative checks with negative results, I still have constant discomfort and pain, even when resting, (with burning and itching) with pain during exertion in both the operated area and the left testicle (especially during sex), affecting the area of the upper gluteus and the left leg when acute. My physician has attributed the latter pain to possible lumbosciatic neuralgia, which has however not benefitted from the pharmacological therapy and the massage therapy recommended. With regard to this, I have had an electromyograph with negative result, a negative pelvis-left hip X-ray, a lumbosacral MRI scan indicating extraosseus angioma in L5, currently in treatment (embolization is expected shortly). Furthermore, for approx. 3 months, with several short intervals of 2-3 days per week, I have constant discomfort in the colon-sigma, a sensation of occlusion with reflex lumbar pains on the left side (piercing when acute). I have regular bowel movements, ultrasound of the intestinal loops is negative (intestine contracted and spastic), hernia type pain in the left side during defecation, coloscopy in 2009 negative, groin/scrotal ultrasound negative. Despite the results of the tests, I continue to feel worse, and since January 2011 I have stopped all physical activity (cycling, running, tennis); relations with my girlfriend have reduced due to the pain with a consequent reduction in libido, premature ejaculation etc. For several months, I have been habitually taking 1 Lorans tab. in the morning, Ranidil for chronic gastritis and Debridat 150 for irritable bowel. …. I can only think, and especially hope, that my hurried post-operative recovery has compromised the outcome of the operation. In that regard, is it possible the mesh has not positioned itself properly and this may be the cause of local inflammation, both in the intestine, and in particular, in the nerve bundles??? Can the various symptoms in fact be due to a neuropathic problem, originating with the hernia? I should add that since December 2010 I have lost sensitivity to touch in both the groin area and the inner left leg and left testicle. I don’t know who to turn to and I am deeply depressed. I look forward to your advice. Many thanks..

    1. Hello Robert,
      As I imagine your surgeon has already reassured you, your hasty post-operative recovery has certainly not compromised the result of the operation, and indeed the tests you have had done have all been negative.
      From certain studies conducted, it has emerged that not everyone who has surgery improves. In fact, more often than not, when the pain is minimal, surgery is not recommended. Also because there is a risk of the pain remaining, even after the operation.
      Now, I don’t know if this is the case with you, but if the hernia did not cause too much pain and was small, you may be one of those individuals who sees no improvement in their condition after surgery. The good news is that there have been cases like that of Luca, who have begun to get well following the medical hygienist’s natural remedies.

  8. I would like some information. I had surgery a week ago and have already been checked by a second doctor, my own surgeon was not available. One recommended I wear hernia briefs for a month, the other said only to avoid exertion but not to use briefs as this would affect my rehabilitation. What should I do? Thank you in advance.

    1. Regarding hernia briefs, there have always been differences of opinion, with those who recommend them and those who don’t. This is due to the fact that the briefs give a great sense of security, they make you feel better. But sooner or later comes the day when you have to do without them. There are patients who are worried about removing them due to fear of compromising something. This is particularly true for those who have not yet had surgery.

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