Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

Post-Operative Instructions

You will most likely be able to go home accompanied by a responsible adult. If you had general anesthesia, you may feel drowsy or nauseated for a temporary period of time that may last 12 to 24 hours.

Following laparoscopic surgery, you will experience generalized abdominal pain. This is normal. You may have pain that extends to the shoulder blades and back. This is also normal and will improve over time.

Incision Care

Pain, a small amount of blood, as well as bruising, is expected and anticipated following discharge. This should resolve in a few days.

If you have a dressing, leave it on for the first 2 days. You may take a sponge bath, but avoid a shower or getting your wound wet for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, when you remove the dressing, you may shower. If you have small pieces of tape (steri-strips) over your incision, do not remove these, they will fall off with time. If there is no dressing you may shower after 24 hours. Avoid baths, hot tubs and swimming for the first week.

Abdominal/scrotal swelling and bruising after laparoscopic hernia surgery is normal. This will improve over time.


You may resume a regular diet when you return home, however it is recommended that you eat light, easily digestible food for the first day or so after surgery. Avoid carbonated drinks, raw vegetables, beans or other gas producing foods for the first few days. It is common for patients to have some belching, heartburn, gas and hiccups associated with laparoscopic surgery and we recommend a bland diet for the first few days (soups, mashed potatoes, no spicy foods). Also, avoid eating ice chips for the first few days. After the first few days, slowly introduce fruits, vegetables, and/or bran flakes and drink plenty of fluids.


If you are having difficulty urinating after getting home, try running the water in the bathroom. You do not have to force fluids, just drink fluids as you normally would. If you are still unable to urinate after 8 hours and have a feeling of fullness you will need to go to the Emergency Room.


To avoid constipation drink prune juice. Take your stool softeners (docusate) twice a day. You may have a gentle laxative, such as 1-3 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia if you have not had a bowel movement for two-three days.


Please be sure to take all medications that you usually take on a regular basis. However, avoid aspirin for five days after your operation, unless prescribed by your surgeon or otherwise recommended.

Pain medication will be prescribed for you; you should only take it as needed. Once the pain begins to subside, try switching to Tylenol since you may no longer need narcotics. You should avoid driving, operating heavy equipment, or potentially hazardous garden equipment while taking narcotics. Side effects of narcotics may include nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, rash, irritability, fatigue and constipation.


For groin/inguinal hernia repairs you are to avoid heavy lifting (nothing greater than 10 pounds) for the first two weeks after surgery. For umbilical, ventral or incisional hernia repairs you are to avoid heavy lifting (10lbs) for 4 weeks. If you return to heavy lifting or smoking, which causes coughing, you will increase your chances for hernia formation. Activities such as walking, walking on the treadmill, going up stairs and deep breathing are perfectly OK and will encourage the resolution of some of the stiffness and discomfort. Many people have problems sleeping after an operation. This is usually the result of too many naps during the daytime. Adequate activity during the day should resolve this problem.

Resumption of driving is dependent on the type of procedure you have had and your level of pain and mobility—generally a few days to up to two weeks after surgery. As always, wait to drive until common sense says it is safe to do so. You must no longer be taking narcotics, and must be able to respond physically and cognitively to any situation on the road you may encounter.

Call the Office at (815) 717-8730

  • When you return home to schedule a follow-up appointment for about 2 weeks from surgery.
  • If you have bleeding from the surgical site that requires more than two dressing changes.
  • If you are still unable to have a bowel movement after trying Milk of Magnesia on the third day following surgery.
  • If you develop a fever of 101° F or 38.5° C or higher following the day of surgery.
  • If you have any other problems or concerns.

If you need FMLA forms completed, fax them to 815-717-8729 or you can mail or drop them off at the office.

Go to the Emergency Room:

  • If you have been unable to urinate eight hours after being discharged from your surgery and have a feeling of fullness. You may tell the ER physician that you need a Foley catheter placed and will follow-up in our office the next business day.
  • If you feel you have serious problems and are unable to reach your surgeon or office staff.