1. Local anesthetic wears off in 4-6 hours. Then it may be a struggle just to get up and down for the first 2 days. Walking and stairs are okay, avoid elective exercise (i.e. don’t go run at the gym). Lifting and straining should be avoided. Listen to your body, if it hurts, don’t do it!
2. While you may have a prescription for pain medicine, placing a Ziploc bag filled with iced water over the sore area is very effective. Many patients state that it works better than the pain medicine. Do not use just ice, or freezer packs; they are too cold and may freeze your skin. Ice and water together is the better choice. If it is too cold, place a moistened washcloth down first.
3. It is normal for there to be swelling and bruising at the site of the hernia repair, and around it. In an inguinal hernia, the scrotum and penis may have some bruising. The incision site will feel firm with a ridge. This will soften as time goes by. To help reduce swelling please use the athletic supporter during the daytime for the two weeks following the operation.
4. Men, be sure to urinate often. Don’t let the bladder get too full. If you have to stand in the shower in the warm water to get things started, that is ok.
5. Pain medication tends to be constipating. I recommend using OTC Docusate Sodium tabs (100mg twice daily) if ineffective then try Dulcolax suppositories and fleets enema as necessary.
6. We will cover the incision with a clear plastic bandage. This should remain in place for 5 days, and then you may remove it. It is ok to shower and get it wet, but please do not submerge it. So no bathtubs or hot tubs. You may choose to leave the bandage on until your follow up visit in a week or so. Blood may pool under the plastic—that is ok. The bandage “breathes”, so the blood underneath will dry out in a few days. If blood seeps out from the bandage you should take off the bandage and you don’t need to replace it. It is still okay to shower without the bandage.
7. Anesthesia, as well as pain medications, can cause nausea. We often write a prescription for medication for this. Increasing your diet slowly seems to help keep nausea from being a problem. Start with liquids and go slow working up to your regular diet. Please don’t feel you need to force yourself to eat.
8. No driving until we see you back in the office in 7 – 10 days, or while on narcotic medication.
9. Call our office if you have any of the following:
Temperature of greater than 101 degrees.
Vomiting for more than 2 days after surgery, or inability to keep down liquids.
Blood loss from incision of ¼ cup or more.
Please call our office at (541) 754-1286 with any questions.