Abdominal hernia repair recovery has been found to take longer than expected, especially in women. The findings from the Mayo Clinic suggest that patients should be able to quickly return to their normal activities following an abdominal hernia repair, but many patients still experience pain and fatigue up to several days after the surgery. Furthermore, individuals under the age of 60 and women were found to have longer recoveries.
Senior author Juliane Bingener-Casey said, “Physicians may need to work with patients to set more realistic expectations about recovery and help them better cope with pain and fatigue after the procedure. It may be that people expect, when they’ve seen their neighbors after laparoscopic gall bladder surgery and they’re back taking a walk the next day that they’ll be able to do the same thing with laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. They will probably find out that it takes several days before they start moving the way they usually do.”
Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is performed when a gap forms in-between the muscles in the abdomen. It is the most common form of surgery for an abdominal surgery with 90,000 ventral hernia repairs occurring annually in the U.S. alone.
The researchers looked at 18 patients up to one week after their surgery, which is considered the worst part of the recovery. Dr. Bingener-Casey explained, “It’s worse than expected for the patients probably. So I think it’s important for patients to have a realistic expectation, so they’re not surprised and disappointed. For the surgeons, it’s important to look at what we can do to improve recovery. Is it the pain control, is there other help we can provide to get through the pain or through the fatigue for the time after surgery?”
Personalized approaches to surgery and recovery are being explored to determine if they would benefit patients.
Once the surgery for your abdominal hernia is completed, you now enter the recovery phase. Here are some things you can expect when recovering from an abdominal hernia repair.