You have just undergone minimally invasive surgery to repair an umbilical/ventral hernia. This involves making a small incision in your abdomen in order to gain access to your hernia or hernias. A piece of mesh is placed inside your abdomen in order to repair the hernia defect from the inside.
The end result of this umbilical/ventral hernia repair is identical to laparoscopic hernia repair, but the procedure is less invasive. There is less dissection involved and local anesthesia with sedation is often used instead of general anesthesia, leading to a quicker recovery.
Soreness, pain in the abdomen after surgery is normal. Pain will be worse with movement, changing positions from laying to seated to standing.
Most of our patients take only tylenol and ibuprofen for pain management after surgery. Applying ice to the surgery site for 20 min at a time can also be helpful.
We recommend taking the following every 6 hours for the first few days after surgery as needed:
- 650mg to 1g of acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- 400mg to 600mg of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
If you are experiencing significant pain that is preventing you from going on a walk or falling asleep, please call the office for a prescription for oxycodone. This medication will cause constipation, so we recommend the following:
- Fiber supplement (Citrucel or Benefiber)
- Stool softener (Colace, Senakot)
- Laxative only if unable to have a bowel movement for a few days (Milk of Magnesia)
The incision is closed with dissolvable sutures – these do not need to be removed.
The top plastic bandage should be removed in 48 hours. You do not need to replace this bandage. The steri strips (tape bandage) underneath should be left on. These will fall off on their own in about 2 weeks. If they do not fall off by the time of your post op phone call, please remove them yourself.
Your incision will turn hard about 7-10 days after surgery. This is due to scar tissue, and is a normal part of healing.
You may shower at any time after surgery. There is a waterproof bandage over your incision. Once this bandage is removed (48 hours after surgery), you can continue to shower with the steri strips over the incision. You do not need to put a new dressing over top.
Please avoid baths, hot tubs, pools, or soaking in water for 2 weeks after surgery, as this can increase your risk of an infection.
Following surgery, you are encouraged to do as much walking as is comfortable. You may climb stairs, taking them one at a time and slowly. We recommend walking at a leisurely pace for the first 2 weeks.
Avoid exercise, strenuous activity, lifting over 25lbs, and repetitive actions for 2 weeks after surgery. After 2 weeks, you may slowly resume these activities, but do so slowly and progressively, and listen to your body if it is telling you to stop or slow down.
You may drive 24 hours after surgery if you feel up to it, as long as you are not taking any prescription pain medications. We typically recommend you avoid driving for 48-72 hours unless necessary.
Although not commonly seen, any incision is susceptible to infection. If you develop a fever of 101 degrees or above, have unexpected pain, redness or drainage from the incision, please contact our office.
Your pain and swelling should gradually improve after the second or third postoperative day. If you have new, constant pain after feeling good for a couple of days, please contact our office.
You will have a postoperative appointment scheduled for somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks after surgery. If this has not been scheduled yet, or if you need to reschedule, please contact our office.
Downloadable Umbilical / Ventral Hernia Repair Post-op Instructions