Hernia repair is a common surgery that is performed about 1 million times a year in surgical suites across the United States. About 800,000 of those procedures involve inguinal hernia repair, which is also one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States.
Inguinal hernias occur when the thin muscular wall holding abdominal organs in place (peritoneum) weakens or tears. This allows abdominal fat or a loop of the small intestine to protrude into the inguinal canal. Hernias can cause significant pain and a visible bulge in the groin area that you may be able to push back into the peritoneum (reduce) until the tear becomes too large.
The team of board-certified surgeons at Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation are well-known for their expertise in surgical hernia repair. They’re also passionate about ensuring your healing process after the procedure is as pain-free as possible. To that end, they offer these five tips to help relieve groin pain after repair of your hernia.
See the surgeon sooner rather than later
The pain and bulge noted at a hernia site is often intermittent and sometimes tempting to ignore, until it happens again. As a hernia enlarges, the repair becomes more complex, which can increase your pain after the procedure and lengthen the healing process. Don’t put your hernia surgery off longer than recommended by your surgeon.
Set aside time to heal but keep moving
You can expect to feel tired and need more rest following hernia repair. But lying on the couch for days on end does not promote healing. And with healing comes pain relief. Stick with the instructions you receive after your procedure, which include details about walking regularly. This increases blood flow to the surgical site, speeds healing, and helps prevent constipation.
Check your diet
Constipation is a common side effect of surgery and the downtime associated with recovery. Straining to pass a stool or the bloating and other symptoms that accompany constipation can worsen your pain.
Limit your risks of developing constipation by eating a diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water to keep your bowel movements regular and your stools soft before and after surgery.
Keep a pillow handy
Coughing and other movements that engage your abdominal muscles can worsen your postsurgical pain. Keep a pillow on your abdomen and use your hand and forearm to press firmly on the pillow whenever you cough, sneeze, or switch positions. This “splinting” maneuver provides support for your abs and helps prevent pain.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions
You’ll be given a detailed list of how to care for your incision sites and the warning signs and symptoms of infection to watch for after your surgery. It’s also important to avoid strenuous activities and limit lifting until your surgeon releases you. All these instructions are designed to promote healing and limit your pain.
And if you experience worsening pain, notice other unexpected symptoms, or don’t understand the directions you’ve been given, don’t hesitate to call your surgeon.
The surgeons at Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation also help speed your recovery and limit your pain after hernia surgery by performing laparoscopic robotic-assisted hernia repair with the advanced daVinci® system. If you have a hernia that needs expert attention, call the office today for an appointment or book your visit online.