Almost every patient we see at our office wants to get back to doing what they love. And as quickly as possible. They don’t want to wait 6-8 weeks before their next training day or their next race.
The First Weekend, Days 0-4
Patients should not plan any significant personal or work related activities during this time period. Only basic daily functions should be performed: walking around the house, visiting the store, and eating at home.
Patients should expect to be off from work or school for this time period and should expect to feel moderate pain, which often requires oral prescribed pain pills (Percocet, Codeine).
First week, Days 4-7
Most patients will be able to return to work or school by post operative day 4. However, patients are advised to avoid any heavy lifting of greater than 10-20 pounds. Although each patient is different, most should expect to only be at about 50% of normal work or school load during this first week.
At home, most patients will be able to resume light activities and at work without any heavy lifting. Patients will experience mild pain, requiring an occasional pain pill or Tylenol & Advil. For exercise some light stretching, walking and other slow paced activities can be performed.
Week 2, Days 7-14
All patients will be able to return to work or school but with lifting limitations of less than 20 pounds. Patients should expect to be about 75% of their normal during this time.
For exercise, patients my resume jogging, biking, yoga, Pilates, leisurely tennis, light weights at the gym (less than 20 pounds). Patients will experience occasional discomfort, some stiffness or soreness, which is usually adequately treated with Tylenol or Advil.
Week 3, Days 14-21
All patients will be able to return to work or school but with lifting limitations of less than 20 pounds. Again, patients should expect to be about 85% of their normal capacity.
Exercise activity can be increased, including running, cycling, yoga, Pilates, swimming, surfing, tennis, golf, light weights at the gym (less than 20 pounds). Oral pain medicines are not usually required.
Week 4 and After
All patients will be able to return to work or school without lifting limitations. Patients should expect to be about 95% of their normal capacity and quickly be back to 100% within days to weeks. Patients can return to all athletic activities including contact sports, heavy lifting (squats, dead lifts, bench press, etc), as well as training and competitions.
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for patients to feel pulling, tugging, aches, burning, heaviness, swelling, occasional sharp pains, and overall ‘discomfort’ for months after hernia surgery. However, these occasional symptoms should become less and less frequent over time.