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Hernia Surgery Aftercare Instructions
For our patients who have elected to undergo a hernia repair with an On Q Catheter (Pain Buster), please see the following post-operative instructions.
As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Cole at anytime.
Immediate post-operative care:
- Bed rest upon arrival at home and throughout the night.
- Use the restroom as needed.
- Gentle stair climbing, if necessary.
- Ice pack over the incision to reduce swelling and discomfort. May use constantly for the next 7-14 days.
- Medication for pain as prescribed by Dr. Cole, is most effective if taken as discomfort starts to increase rather than waiting for it to become too severe.
- Dr. Cole may also prescribe a stool softener to alleviate constipation. Drink a lot of fluid. You may also use Milk of Magnesia or your favorite remedy.
Days 1 – 3:
- There will be a clear plastic dressing over your incision. This dressing should be removed 3 days after surgery. Once you remove the dressing you will notice a glue-like substance over your incision. No sutures will be seen as they dissolve on their own. After the dressing is removed, gently pull the catheter out (approximately 4-6 inches.) There will be an intermittent black marks at the tip of the catheter. Once the catheter is removed, place a sterile dressing (bandage) over the catheter exit site. You can take a shower (NO BATH) on the fourth post-operative day, 24 hours after the catheter has been removed.
- After every surgery there will be swelling, which is a normal tissue response. Bruising may also be seen under the incision and/or extending into the genital region (penis/scrotum or labia). Again, ice will help significantly. A scrotal support or firm underwear may alleviate discomfort.
- You may sit on a sofa or at your desk, but minimize your activity.
- No heavy lifting greater than 15 pounds for approximately 6 weeks after surgery.
- No driving until after your initial post-operative visit (approximately one week.)
Days 4 – 30:
- A ridge of firm tissue will develop beneath your incision. This is part of the normal healing process and will resolve over the next few months.
- Massage with Aloe Vera gel for approximately 3-5 months, 2 – 3 times per day. This will help to break down the scarring process.
- Should you develop a fever or the wound becomes very swollen, tender and/or red, contact Dr. Cole immediately.
- Please call Dr. Cole the following morning to check-in and make an appointment within 7 – 10 days.