6 Steps to a Successful Hernia Repair

  • Man holding stomach
    Preparation Is Key to Success
    Hernia repair can correct an abdominal hernia and relieve pain and other symptoms. Even if you are a good candidate for hernia surgery, the thought of undergoing the actual procedure might make you anxious. Here are some things you can do to help make your surgery a success.

  • Three smiling doctors in group setting
    1. Pick the Right Doctor
    One of the most important things you can do for successful hernia surgery is to choose a doctor with the right expertise and experience. The more experience the doctor has repairing hernias, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. Read Finding the Right Doctor for Hernia Repair to learn how.

  • Hospital
    2. Make Sure Your Hospital Has a Good Success Record
    Where you have your surgery is just as important as who performs your surgery. Your risk of complications and even death can be higher at one hospital compared to another in the same city. Healthgrades.com presents this information in an easy-to-understand ratings format.

  • Doctor with Male Patient
    3. Get Specific With Your Doctor
    Bring a list of questions to your doctor appointment. Ask about the types of surgery available, the volume and number of cases the doctor has performed, possible complications, recovery time, and how to manage pain after the procedure. Having realistic expectations will help you and your loved ones stick with your treatment plan.

  • man-looking-at-smartphone-and-planner
    4. Prepare for the Procedure
    Here are things you’ll need to do before surgery. 1) Provide your detailed medical history and a list of medications you take. 2) Get all preoperative testing that your doctor orders. 3) Take or stop medications exactly as directed. Make sure you understand everything you need to do well in advance of surgery. Ask your doctor to explain it again or put it in writing if that will help you.

  • man smiling in bed
    5. Plan for Your Recovery
    Recovery time varies depending on the specific surgical approach, type of anesthesia, your general health, age, and other factors. Gradually, you’ll return to normal activities with less pain. Full recovery times range from 2 to 6 weeks. Strengthening your core and abdominal muscles is an important part of preventing hernias from coming back.

  • Senior man being assisted by female nurse
    6. Make Appropriate Arrangements
    You won’t be able to drive immediately after hernia surgery, so arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. You will need to avoid straining your abdominal muscles for a few weeks. Ask your doctor: what kind of restrictions you’ll have; what kind of assistance you will need at home; and when you can return to work and other activities. Arrange for child care, driving assistance, and time off work as needed.

6 Steps to a Successful Hernia Repair

About The Author

Sarah Lewis is a pharmacist and a medical writer with over 25 years of experience in various areas of pharmacy practice. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. She completed Pharmacy Practice Residency training at the University of Pittsburgh/VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. 
Was this helpful?
Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Aug 31
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.