Reply To: Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect Reply To: Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect


The recovery from open non-mesh/tissue repair is on average longer than that with “tension-free” mesh repair, although complications from mesh have been encompassing most of the complaints posted on the internet. One of the reasons why mesh repair gained favor in the 70s over tissue repair was exactly for this reason.

Now, you should not be in so much pain many months after your operation. The reasons for pain may be many. From a tissue repair, the most common reason for pain is that it is now a relatively tight area as compared to prior to the operation. So, imagine wearing a tight pair of jeans. That can be uncomfortable. You mentioned your hernia was larger than average. After your hernia repair, since there is no mesh there, your natural tissue will often stretch out in the area to accommodate for the tension in the region. It may take at least a year to notice appreciable stretching.

The risk with a tight repair is that it will not stretch out enough for you to remain pain free, and if you fall, you are at risk of tearing the repair. That implies another repair, with mesh, and then you submit yourself to possibly recurrent issues in the area. This is why I feel that the decision for a non-mesh/tissue repair must be tailored to the needs and lifestyle and risk factors of the patient.

In short, if you just have pain in the area, and your doctors have deemed there is no neuropathic (nerve-related) component to it and you have not torn the repair, then most likely it is because of a relative tightness in the area. In my practice, I would not limit your activities. If you tear it, such as with a fall or other reason, it was inevitable and not necessarily related to any one specific movement. Remaining fit and being in good physical shape and fit can help protect from a tear. Also, slow stretching such as Pilates or some Yoga, can help.

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