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After 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 several tiny incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon repairs the hernia with mesh, which patches the tear or weakness in the fascia.

Home care

  • You may have sharp pain that radiates to your shoulder. This is referred pain from the gases they used to inflate your belly. It's common and usually lasts a short time. You may also have numbness around the incision area.

  • Keep doing the coughing and deep breathing exercises that you learned in the hospital. These will help to prevent lung infection.

  • Prevent constipation so you don’t strain when going to the bathroom. 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 healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Wash your incision with mild soap and water. Pat it dry. Don’t use oil, powder, or lotion on your incision.

  • Shower or take baths as instructed by your healthcare provider. Instructions will vary based on how your incision was closed and how it’s healing. It may be closed with glue, stitches, or staples. Your healthcare provider may have different advice for each kind.


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

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

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

  • Climb stairs slowly and pause after every few steps.

  • Walk as often as you feel able.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can drive again. This may be when you stop taking pain medicine and can move comfortably from side to side. Don’t drive if you are still taking opioid pain medicine.

When to call your healthcare provider 

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

  • Pain, bleeding, redness, or fluid at the incision site that gets worse

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

  • Chills

  • Vomiting or nausea that doesn’t go away

  • Inability to urinate

  • No bowel movement after three days

  • Swelling in abdomen or groin that gets worse

  • Pain that’s not relieved by medicine

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2022
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