What is included in postoperative care of an open inguinal hernia repair?

Updated: May 21, 2021
  • Author: Vinay Kumar Kapoor, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FAMS; Chief Editor: Kurt E Roberts, MD  more...
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After the procedure, the patient is asked to rest for few hours. He or she may be discharged later the same day on a day-care basis. Early mobilization is the key to rapid convalescence. Patients can safely ambulate on the evening of the operation. If general or regional anesthesia is used, the patient may be hospitalized for a few days.

There is some pain in the postoperative period, and suitable analgesics should be prescribed. The dressing is removed on postoperative day 5, and stitches are removed on postoperative day 7. Patients should be advised to avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks. Typically, light work can be resumed after 1 week, heavier jobs after 6 weeks.

Male patients should be monitored for testicular atrophy, which may occur as a result of venous or arterial injury or obstruction in the spermatic cord. All patients should be monitored for the development of nerve pain from nerve entrapment in suture material. Finally, patients should be monitored for recurrence, which may arise as a consequence of inadequate repair, wound infection, or chronic straining (eg, from coughing, constipation, or urination).

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