Going through the pain and inconvenience of a hernia is something that you may only have to experience once in your lifetime – if ever. The good news is that, if you do have a hernia and you receive the proper medical attention, your chances of a recurrence should be very low.
Surgery is by far the most common and trusted method that most physicians recommend for the correction of a hernia. After all, a hernia is a protrusion or “pushing through” of internal body tissue and/or organs (think: intestines) through weak places in the muscle wall. A hernia can come about due to genetic causes or be the result of undue strain placed on the localized area of the body, such as during strenuous lifting, childbirth, or an accident.
Hernia surgery involves your doctor placing a synthetic mesh over the affected area after pushing the protruding tissues back into the body. Once the surgical incisions have healed in a few weeks, the affected muscle should regain its previous strength. As long as proper healing has occurred, the newly-healed muscle wall – along with the synthetic mesh – should be more than strong enough to keep everything properly in place.
If you have undergone hernia surgery or plan to soon, you may have heard about restrictions after hernia surgery. Here are 5 common restrictions after hernia surgery:
1. Avoid lifting anything that weighs over 10 lbs. (or about 4.5 kg):
For the first 2 weeks or so after surgery, you should avoid lifting anything that weights over 10 lbs. (about 4.5 kg). This includes young children! If your home or work life require that you lift items that weigh more than this, be sure to enlist the assistance of a helpful friend, family member, or hired nurse to get you through those first few weeks.
2. Do not hold objects above your head:
You will want to avoid any type of strenuous holding or lifting of items of any weight above your head. Reason: in that position, your abdomen will likely be stretched in ways that could put undue pressure on the affected area of your body. The risk is that you could re-open your incisions or re-injure the herniated part of your body.
3. Avoid running or jogging:
Your healing hernia will be very sensitive to any type of jarring motion, such as that which comes with running or jogging. Avoid this type of jarring physical activity for at least 2-3 weeks – maybe longer.
4. Avoid doing sit-ups:
Immediately following your surgery, just trying to sit up in bed might be a very painful experience for you. It goes without saying, then, that sit-ups should be out of the question.
5. Do not stay in bed all day:
Despite all of these cautionary notes about avoiding any type of strenuous or jarring activities, it is important also that you do not just stay in bed or on the couch all day. Rather, once a day or two have passed after your surgery, make it a point to get up every day and take a little walk around your house. After a week or so, you should start venturing outside. Surprisingly, avoiding this type of light exercise could actually keep your body from healing properly after surgery.
In order to avoid recurrence of your hernia and to promote healing, keep these restrictions in mind for after your hernia surgery.