Questions that people ask us frequently

Below are questions that patients often ask us before and after surgery. This was created to help you better prepare for the day of surgery and for recovery. While these answers do not substitute for an appointment with us, they are created to help you remember what may have been said in the office during your consultation

Questions related to the time before hernia surgery:

When do I come in for surgery?
Our office will email you, send you a letter or call you about your surgery time and date. A lot needs to happen in the hospital prior to your surgery, so please come at your appointed time.

What activities can I do before surgery?
You can do any activity that does not cause pain from your hernia.

Do I need to shave before surgery?
No! We will use a clipper before surgery. Shaving at home increases the risk of infection.

Do I have to fast before surgery?
The hospital will give you exact details, but generally, no food or drink is allowed after midnight on the day of surgery.

Can I take all my medicines before surgery?
Yes, as long as they are not blood thinners

Do I stop Aspirin before surgery?
Not if it’s prescribed by your primary care provider.

Do I stop my blood thinners before surgery?
Yes, if you are having an inguinal hernia repaired. Please discuss blood thinners during your preoperative visit.

Can I take Motrin before surgery?
We prefer that you stop Motrin a week ahead of surgery if possible.

Can I have surgery if I’m antibiotics for anything?
No. If you have an infection in your body, it’s best to delay surgery. Please call the office if you are being started on an antibiotic and you are scheduled for surgery

Can I drive home from surgery?
No.

Questions related to the day of hernia surgery:

What should I wear?
Wear loose comfortable clothing.

Do I bring my phone or a book?
You can bring both in case there is some down time before surgery.

Can I drive to the hospital?
Yes, but you can NOT drive home after surgery.

Can I drive home?
No.

Do I have to have someone with me in the hospital?
No. You can be dropped off and picked up.

Do I need someone with me when I go home?
Yes. You must be accompanied home by someone you know. You cannot take a taxi or Uber home by yourself.

Can I take an Uber, Lyft or taxi home?
Only if you have someone with you. If you do not have anyone that accompany you home, there are approved services that can pick you up and get you home.

Is there a pharmacy in the hospital?
No. Generally our patients do not need to fill a prescription after surgery. If you do need to fill a prescription, it can be done near home.

Questions related to the hernia surgery:

What is the name of the mesh I will have?
We use the Ventrio ST for inguinal hernia and Ventralex for umbilical or ventral hernia.

Is mesh safe?
Yes, it’s implanted in over one million people each year, with few complications

Is surgery different if I’m not having a mesh repair?

Yes – we will stitch your own tissues together instead of using mesh.  This sometimes take a bit longer, and you may have more pain than a typical mesh repair

How long will the surgery take?
About 45 minutes to 1 hour for a hernia that has not been fixed before. Up to 1.5-2 hours for recurrent hernias.

Will I have general anesthesia?
Patients who have a BMI of 28 and above will sometimes require general anesthesia.

Will I be awake for surgery?
No. Our patients are sedated enough to be sleeping comfortably.

Questions about hernia surgery recovery:

Will I be able to walk after surgery?
Yes. We want everyone to walk after surgery. Rarely, the local anesthesia we use can cause your leg to be numb for several hours. In this case, you will need to use crutches for a few hours after surgery.

When can I shower after surgery?
You may shower the day after surgery. There is a waterproof bandage on the incision. YOu may continue to shower after the dressing is removed.

When should I take my dressing off?
Please peel off the clear plastic and remove the gauze 2 days after your surgery. There is no need to put anything over the steri strips that are glued to the skin.

Can I put a bandaid over the steri strips?
Sure. Some people find that a bandaid feels better. Sometimes a bandaid can help keep your clothes clean in the small chance a few drops of blood seep from under the steri strips.

Can I go up steps after my hernia surgery?
Yes. Please take steps slowly and one at a time.

Can I lift a gallon of milk?
Yes, as long as it’s once or twice! You may lift up to 25 lbs as long as you are not performing many repetitive motions the first two weeks. Any repetitive activities can cause harm to your repair

Can I bend down to tie my shoes after surgery?
Yes, just move slowly.

Can I go for a long walk after hernia surgery?
Yes, we encourage it. Just avoid strenuous hiking trails and don’t wear a backpack.

When can I go for a run after surgery?
You can go for a run two weeks after hernia surgery.

When can I resume sexual activity?
You may resume sexual activity two weeks after hernia surgery.

When can I go back to work after hernia surgery?
You may go to work whenever you feel like, as long as your job does not require heavy lifting. Approximately 75% of our patients go to work within 3 days of surgery.

When can I go back to the gym?
You may return to the gym two weeks after surgery. Please use common sense and resume activity gradually.

How much pain will I have after surgery?

Everyone is different! Some pain, of course, is expected. Most of our patients feel that Tylenol and Motrin are strong enough to take care of their pain.  

How likely is the hernia to come back after surgery?
The chance that an inguinal hernia comes back after surgery is less than 2%. The chance that an umbilical hernia comes back is 5-10%. The chance that a ventral hernia comes back is less than 20%.