Hernia surgery is one of the most common procedures that Dr. Koeplin and his team perform, and while the vast majority have great outcomes, your recovery is not fully dictated by their surgical skill. For many patients, how well they’ll recover following hernia surgery is dictated in part by the effort they put in before surgery. In today’s blog, we share some tips for how you can best prepare your body to have a good outcome following hernia surgery.
Pre-Op Tips For A Successful Hernia Surgery Recovery
You should always ask your hernia surgeon for the best ways to prepare yourself for surgery, but these general tips are usually in line with their wishes. In the days and weeks leading up to hernia surgery, you should:
- Give up smoking – Smoking inhibits healthy blood flow throughout the body, which will be necessary following your surgery. Studies have also shown that smokers are at an increased risk for infections and acid reflux symptoms after certain hernia operations. Give up smoking prior to your surgery and try to remain smoke-free for at least six weeks after your operation.
- Hydrate – While you’re giving up smoking, make sure that you work to increase your water intake. This is important ahead of surgery and in the first few days afterwards, as dehydration can make stools more difficult to pass, which can be uncomfortable enough following surgery. Staying hydrated also helps increase blood flow to the surgical site.
- Work towards a healthy weight – Nobody expects you to drop 30 pounds in the weeks leading up to hernia surgery, but getting in the habit of making healthy dietary choices will only help. Losing weight takes stress off of areas prone to hernia formation, and exercise can help to facilitate comfortable bowel movements post-op.
- Talk with your surgeon about laxatives – If you can’t tell already, bowel movements are sometimes a cause for concern for patients after hernia surgery, so we try to help patients prevent them from becoming an issue. Some laxatives take a couple days to really get your system on a schedule, so talk to your surgeon about a laxative regimen prior to your operation if you want to stay ahead of potential issues.
- Eat a healthy diet – Not only will a healthy diet help you lose weight and give you essential vitamins and nutrients that aid in recovery, but it can also help prevent gas, bloating and uncomfortable bowel movements post-op. Reach for fiber-rich foods and vegetables to help prevent irritable bowel syndrome. Post-op, consider smaller meals and avoid high fat foods.
- Prepare your house – Sometimes people suffer setbacks during their recovery from hernia surgery because they do too much, too soon after the operation. To help prevent this, get your house in order, prep some easy-to-reheat meals and make sure household chores like laundry, dishes and vacuuming are all taken care of before your surgery. The less you need to do around the house while you recover, the less likely you are to suffer a setback.
For more pre-operative hernia surgery tips, or to talk to a surgeon about your options, reach out to Dr. Koeplin’s office today.