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Hernia Surgery

Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery is a proven technique, which is suitable for the management of most groin hernias. Long-term cure rates of 99% are achieved with most patients having little or no pain. Surgery is performed via 3 small puncture wounds in the lower abdomen. The defect in the abdominal wall muscles is covered by a sheet of synthetic permanent mesh. Patients return to office type work within 5-7 days and are able to resume all physical activities within 4 weeks.

Inguinal or Femoral Hernia Discharge instructions

You have recently had surgery for an inguinal or femoral hernia.

Postoperative instructions

The following information is intended as a guide for patients who have undergone laparoscopic or open inguinal hernia surgery. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery is performed via three (3) small incisions in the lower abdomen, while open surgery is performed via a single larger groin incision.


Your wounds are covered with an outer waterproof dressing and beneath there is a row of steri strips. You can shower normally with these dressings in place. The outer dressings can be removed after 48 hours and the steri strips left in place until they start to lift off. There are no stitches to be removed.

Bruising of the penis and scrotum is common and resolves within a few weeks. Some patients develop a hard swelling at the site of the hernia repair. This is usually a simple fluid collection, which resolves after a few weeks.

Pain relief

It is normal to have significant pain for the first few days after surgery. This is best treated with a combination of Panadol two (2) tablets every 4-6 hours and Nurofen two (2) tablets every 8 hours. It is unusual to require stronger analgesics. Panadeine Forte two (2) tablets every 8 hours can be used for more severe pain, but this is both sedating and constipating. You should check with you specialist that it is appropriate for you to take Ibupfrofen / Nurofen.


You should not drive for five (5) days after surgery.


Most people are fit to resume sedentary occupations after 5-7 days. If your job involves more physical demands you should discuss this specifically with your doctor.

Physical activity and sport

Patients having laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery may return to regular sport and physical activity within 2-3 weeks. Pain should be used as a guide to determine what can or cannot be undertaken.  Recovery is slower after open inguinal hernia surgery. Most patients are able to resume full physical activities within 5-6 weeks.  Premature return to sport or vigorous physical activity risks development of a recurrent hernia.

Support stockings

To be kept on for two weeks postoperatively.

Sexual Function

Inguinal hernia surgery does not affect sexual function. Men may experience temporary aching in the scrotum for 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is safe to resume sexual relationships within 1-2 weeks of surgery.

Mesh Repair Umbilical Hernia Post Operative Instructions

You have just had a mesh repair of an umbilical hernia. Currently there is a bulky pressure dressing in place. This should be left in place overnight to prevent bruising. The pressure dressing can be removed the morning after surgery. Beneath this is a waterproof dressing. You can shower with this dressing in place. It should be removed after 5 days. There are then no stitches to remove.

If there is fluid or blood collecting beneath the dressing you may remove the dressing and replace it with another waterproof dressing. These can be purchased at your pharmacy.

Most patients are quite sore after this surgery. You will be given painkillers to take home with you.  You should take these regularly for the first 48 hours or so. You should not drive for four days after the surgery. You can walk around as much as you like but you should not undertake any heavy physical activities for six weeks.

It is important to be aware of signs of infection, which can develop after any surgery. These include redness, heat, pain or swelling at the surgical site. If any of these signs develop you should contact your surgeon.

It is normal to feel a hard lump below the umbilicus and often extending a few centimetres above and below, and to the sides. This is part of the normal inflammatory reaction to surgery.

You will need to make a post-operative appointment to see your surgeon in four weeks.

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