Any surgical procedure requires careful after-care to prevent further damage to the organ under repair. A hernia occurs due to an organ pushing through the opening of the muscle or tissue, which holds it in place. For instance, the intestines can break through the abdominal wall. Hernias are not life threatening, however, require a surgical procedure to prevent dangerous complications.

The most common form of hernias are inguinal hernias, which occur due to a tear in the lower abdominal canal – inguinal canal. They make up approximately 70% of cases, according to the British Hernia Centre (BHC). Learn about how to care for yourself or your loved one at home, after an inguinal canal procedure takes place.

Taking care of yourself

It is important to care for yourself to enhance healing, prevent weight gain, prevent post-operative infection and avoid coughing really hard. Usually after the repair, the patient would be asked to remain in the hospital for the first 24 hours, to eliminate possibilities of post-operative infections. It is normal to have some pain after the surgery, so continue taking the prescribed painkillers for some time. Also, try to apply gentle pressure to the wound using your hand. You can also use a pillow to sit and stand more comfortably. It can also be helpful, while moving, sneezing and coughing.

Driving

The effects from the anaesthetic can remain with you for up to a week, which makes your ability to drive unsafe. It is best to check with a doctor before starting to drive.

Walking

Taking a stroll can increase your blood circulation, which helps with healing without causing too much stress on the abdomen.

Taking a bath or shower

This is highly dependant on your surgical procedure and recommendations of your doctor. It is best to check with the doctor on how long you should keep your incision dry. Usually, most patients are able to shower within one or two days.

Diet

It is normal for patients to experience constipation after surgery. So, try to eat food that has high fibre content, fresh vegetable, fresh fruits and drink a lot of fluids. If the constipation becomes severe doctors can prescribe laxatives or stool softeners. Straining in the toilet due to constipation can cause pain around your wound.

Lifting

It is best to avoid lifting for at least the first few days after the surgery. It is best to lift light object initially, and then build up to lift slightly heavier objects over time. However, make sure to avoid using you abdominal muscles, instead use your back and knee muscles.

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