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Author Topic: Update on my hernia: Post-op  (Read 156 times)

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Online Query

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Update on my hernia: Post-op
« on: November 09, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »
8 Days ago I had the hernia repair surgery. It was an out patient operation - I went home afterwards.

The hardest part to deal with was that they wouldn't let me drive myself home, nor take public transportation. Some sort of weird hospital rule concerning anaesthesia. By the time my ride came, it was 8 or 9 hours later (because I wanted an operation as soon as possible, and didn't schedule wisely, according to when I could get someone to drive me), and I would probably have been in good enough shape for driving and/or public transportation - though I had to avoid much walking.

The surgeon removed the dressing over the incision today. He said everything looked good. E.g., no signs of infection. Just a scar. He said I can go back to normal activity and training as soon as the pain goes away, and expects that to take about a week.

I stay away from unnecessary drugs as much as I can, but anesthetics during surgery are a necessity - it makes it much easier for the surgeon to operate, and it relaxes the muscles, which makes the operation go better too.

They gave me pain killers (including narcotics) during surgery, and used anesthetics to put me to sleep. Narcotics have side affects - it took 3 days before I could "poo". (The surgeon said it sometimes takes 7 days.) I was also prescribed pain killers to take after surgery, but chose not to. I want to know if I am damaging something, so I avoid pain killers whenever I can. I asked them not to use Versed (generic name Midazolam) - which tends to make you forgetful, because I had trouble remembering things after an operation I had about 20 years ago, during which they may have used it.

I can also go back to normal bathing.  (Between the operation and today, I was supposed to take very gentle showers, with no scrubbing, and only pat dry, and avoid swimming or getting in a hot tub, presumably to avoid weakening the skin, or making the dressing come off.)

However, my own idea, I will cover the scar with (paper) first aid tape, so I don't scratch it. I have found that to be a reasonably good way to prevent myself from scratching places that itch. (Cloth first aid tape is too sticky, and damages what it covers. Paper first aid tape sticks slightly better than a Band Aid. My entire first aid kit now consists of a roll of paper first aid tape. :) )

Hernias occur when part of the digestive tract breaks through a weak part of the abdominal wall (mostly muscle) that holds things in place.

The physical trainer at the gym/pool I joined said that I should have worked on cardio (aerobic) endurance and abs strengthening, before doing any other strength training. The surgeon agreed - although he says that in practice he has noticed no obvious correlation between weight lifting and hernias. Hernias are one of the most common surgeries - almost 1/3 of men get them, and a few women too. So this advice may be something that many people who aren't in great physical shape should follow, if they want to get stronger.

I may take at least one lesson from that trainer, even though he is expensive. He at least seems to know what he is talking about.

All and all, things are looking up.

I wasn't supposed to skate last weekend, but had to for work. I was extremely careful, skating slowly, on two feet, using as little muscle as practical. But I admit that I still used some abdominal stabilizing muscles to stay upright. (If you use no muscles at all, you can't stand up, on ice or on dry land.) I will have to skate a little this weekend too, but will again do as little as possible, this week.

:)

Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Update on my hernia: Post-op
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 10:06:56 PM »
I'm glad the surgery went well and that the recovery is going doing the same!

It's interesting that your surgeon's okay with letting you skate so soon. My surgeons (both times) as soon as they found out I skated, refused to even consider letting me get back on the ice for at least six weeks. I know everyone is different, but those return-to-work guidelines are aimed at people with office jobs. They don't expect people to carry things over 25 pounds (like I was doing) or go back to physical activity a week or two after surgery. The incisions have not fully healed internally. I was warned that exercising too soon after abdominal surgery actually carries a higher risk of hernias down the road.

And from personal experience, the anaethesia rule is not weird. People can (and do!) have delayed reactions to it. I, however, have them almost immediately. I got put up in a bed overnight (it was supposed to be an outpatient surgery; the nurse refused to let me go home) for observation and re-hydration.

If you want to talk more about the recovery process in depth, feel free to message me. Some of the details are not all-ages appropriate.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Update on my hernia: Post-op
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 08:36:11 AM »
The can’t drive yourself after anesthetic rule is typical.  Wait until you get to the age for multiple surgeries a year. I once gave a second hand refrigerator to a friend after she took leave twice to help me with dental surgery then the dreaded colonoscopy.  Her husband stocks it with beer in the garage.

There are services you can pay for a bonded escort who will drive you then stay with you the required time
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Update on my hernia: Post-op
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 11:41:41 AM »
Hey, Query, I tried responding to your message, but your inbox is full. And then the boards ate it when I tried to save it to send later, so...

Pretty much the gist of it was - in broad terms - expect bathroom issues until things settle, pain is normal after everything seems to have healed, take it slowly until you're cleared to return to normal activities (it took me six weeks both times) and don't start full steam immediately, and let yourself rest whenever you feel the need.

Online Query

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Re: Update on my hernia: Post-op
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 04:19:30 PM »
Thanks. I just emptied out my inbox, copying everything to a file. I wish I knew an automated way to do that...