In France, approximately 200 adults are operated on inguinal hernia every year. This is the only treatment for this disease. The intervention is most often without significant sequelae. When to walk after an inguinal hernia operation? We will answer this question in this article.
Brief description of inguinal hernia
A inguinal hernia refers to a lump under the skin that forms in the groin, an area between the abdomen and the thigh.
There are several types of inguinal hernias depending on the precise location of the hernia and the time of its occurrence:
- direct inguinal hernia;
- indirect inguinal hernia;
- congenital inguinal hernia;
- acquired inguinal hernia.
Some people have an inguinal hernia from birth (congenital inguinal hernia). This concerns about 2 to 5% of infants who are mainly boys. It occurs when the peritoneal-vaginal canal stays open instead of closing before the baby is born. This channel allows the testicles to migrate from the abdomen to the bursae in the fetus. It could be that a portion of intestine is introduced into the channel and forms a hernia.
To learn more about inguinal hernia in babies, see the following article.
For others, the inguinal hernia appears in adulthood. We are talking about an acquired inguinal hernia. It is generally due to excessive pressure exerted on the abdomen (carrying heavy loads, being overweight, chronic cough, constipation, etc.). The muscles of the abdominal wall weaken and a hernia develops.
A small inguinal hernia is often asymptomatic. On the other hand, when it grows, it is manifested by a feeling of heaviness, discomfort or even pain in the lower abdomen. You can sometimes observe the presence of a lump in the groin.
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How long does it take to recover after an inguinal hernia operation?
THEsurgery an inguinal hernia can be done on an outpatient basis. Thus, recovery is very short. In general, the duration of hospitalization lasts only 24 hours. The patient can walk 4 to 6 hours after the intervention and he can drive the next day. A light diet is authorized the evening of the intervention.
As for stopping work, this is only recommended if your job requires you to stand for a long time or requires physical effort. The work stoppage is between 15 days to 1 month, depending on your condition, the complexity of the intervention and of course the constraints related to your work.
If you have been operated on by laparoscopy, you can gradually resume normal activity after 3 weeks. Otherwise, you can maintain moderate activity.
However, with the resumption of walking, some essential recommendations are also to be taken into account.
- If you show signs of complications (swelling of the wound, groin or bursa, major abdominal pain, fever, etc.), do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
- In the month following the operation, the carrying of heavy loads (more than 5 kg) is strictly prohibited.
- Showers are permitted the day after the operation. But, you just need to dry the scars well after the baths.
- One month after the operation, if your scar is well closed, you can massage it by kneading it for 5 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. You can use a moisturizer or a healing cream, all that matters is the mechanical action of your massage.
What should be remembered is that the operation of an inguinal hernia is rarely complicated. Recovery is quite short and le patient can walk as early as 6 hours after surgery. However, moderate pain or discomfort may last about 6 weeks, which is normal after such an intervention. If the pain persists longer, consider seeing your surgeon again.