My hernia recovery
So I read so many horrible stories online, I thought I would add my happier story (so far) for anyone preparing to go through this.
I had my surgery yesterday morning, for a right inguinal hernia. I was pretty conflicted on open vs laparoscopic, I was leaning towards laparoscopic because of the promise of less pain and less risk of chronic pain. However my surgeon primarily does open surgery though he said he is comfortable with doing either. I ended up going with open, primarily because that’s what my surgeon does most. He has been doing this for 25 years, and we talked about his personal results (vs a research study) and he talked with me about how he’s improved his techniques over the years to avoid major nerves, etc and how his patients generally had pretty low pain and no major chronic issues. At the end of the day I felt it best to trust his experience and do what he preferred, so open surgery it was.
After arriving I got in my gown and got shaved, and then got my dose of Versed is my favorite part of surgery. Fear just vanishes and you don’t care what they do to you. I next remember getting wheeled back to the OR, scooting over onto the table and having my arms spread out and strapped down. They then put an oxygen mask on me and I remember asking if it was just oxygen because I was started to feel weird. That’s the last thing I remember. I had opted to have general anesthesia, though they offered to just do local anesthetic plus twilight sedation. I told them I wasn’t too keen on being even somewhat aware of being cut into so they knocked me out. However they didn’t have to knock me as deeply for open surgery or something, so they were able to put in a shorter breathing tube which they said wouldn’t give me as much of a sore throat (and they were right, throat felt fine after).
The surgery only took about 30 minutes. I got wheeled back around 8:15 AM and by 9:30 AM I was back awake and fairly coherent. They gave me a percocet, monitored my vitals a few minutes and then I was able to get dressed by myself. I left around 10:15 AM so a fairly quick process, then came home to bed. Walking at that point was fine, as the local anesthetic was still working.
I spent most of yesterday in bed, and I’d say the pain was at most about a 5 (10 point scale), but usually between a 1 and 3. It was really not bad at all laying in bed, and this morning it is even better. The first time I did get up to use the bathroom hurt A LOT however. I’d say pain got up to about an 8 walking, tolerable but bad enough that you don’t want to walk unless you have to. I would suggest a bed urinal for the first day, as it saved me some walking. Late last night I tried walking again and it was better, probably more of a 6 on pain. If you hunch and shuffle it’s tolerable, stretching the incision area is what really hurts. I plan to do more walking today though.
It’s only been about 24 hours so far but that’s the period I expected to be bad and it really wasn’t. I slept great, was even able to sleep on both sides (though it takes some careful maneuvering. to get on my right side). My appetite is good, no problems peeing, no major swelling or bruising (yet). This is my 3rd major surgery, the other two being endoscopic sinus surgery and laparoscopic gall bladder removal. Being my first open surgery I was worried this would be the worst, but it was by far the easiest of the three.
So there is my happy report, I think the worst part of the whole thing was reading the horror stories online and dealing with the anxiety from that. I suspect my result is much more common than the horrors you read, so try to relax and hope for the best!
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