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Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

You had a procedure called laparoscopic hernia repair. A hernia is a defect in the tough tissue covering the musculature of the abdominal wall (fascia). During laparoscopic hernia surgery, a surgeon inserts a telescope attached to a camera as well as surgical instruments through tiny incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon repairs the hernia with a mesh, which patches the tear or weakness in the fascia.

Home care

  • Don’t be alarmed if your shoulder is tight or your neck is stiff for 24 to 48 hours after your surgery. This is common and usually temporary.

  • It's fairly common for patients to have numbness around the incision area.

  • Continue the coughing and deep breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital to help prevent lung infections.

  • Avoid constipation:

    • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless otherwise directed.

    • Use a laxative or a mild stool softener if your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Wash your incision with mild soap and water. Pat it dry. Don’t use oils, powders, or lotions on your incision.

  • Shower or bathe as instructed by your doctor. Instructions will vary based on how your incision was closed (whether using glue, sutures, or staples) as well as how the incision looks and heals after evaluation at the first post-operation visit.  


  • Ask your doctor when you can start driving again. This is usually as soon as you are free from pain medication and able to move comfortably from side to side. Don’t drive while you are still taking opioid pain medication.

  • Ask others to help with chores and errands while you recover.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Don’t mow the lawn, use a vacuum cleaner, or do other strenuous activities until your doctor says it's OK.

  • Climb stairs slowly and pause after every few steps.

  • Walk as often as you feel able.


When to call your healthcare provider

Call your heathcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased pain, bleeding, redness, or foul-smelling discharge around the incision area

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away

  • Inability to urinate

  • Increased swelling in abdomen or groin

  • Pain not relieved by medicine


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