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Preparing For Hernia Surgery

The following instructions on this page contain general information and advice regarding your condition and are designed to provide you with a guide on how best to safeguard your health. However, they are not intended to be exhaustive instructions. In specific cases you may receive different/additional instructions from your doctor. You are advised to follow any specific written or oral instructions given to you by your doctor or healthcare worker. Please seek clarification in case of doubt.

Hernia Surgery

Hernia Surgery is where a cut is made to open the skin and the surgeon will push the hernia back into place.

Activity / Rehabilitation

  • Resume your daily activities as tolerated. Increase your level of activity gradually as tolerated. Begin with gentle exercises, such as short walks several times a day. This will help to speed up the healing process and reduce muscle spasms. 
  • The length of time you take off work depends on your occupation. For light, desk-based work, you may return to work after 1 to 3 weeks, whereas for heavier, manual work, you may need to rest for 4 to 6 weeks. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.
  • Avoid driving for the first week after surgery. 
  • Avoid holding your breath.
  • Avoid strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects for 3 months to allow for wound healing.
  • You may resume sexual relations in 2-4 weeks if you are comfortable enough, or as advised by your physician.

Nutrition / Diet

  • Eat more green leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grain cereals to avoid constipation and straining.
  • Drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses daily, unless otherwise instructed.

Safe and effective use of medication

Take prescribed medication as instructed by the pharmacist. 

Wound / Drain / Tube / Catheter Care 

For the first 48 hours after your operation, the dressing is usually left in place unless it is soaked, wet or the wound requires inspection.

Subsequently, based on how the wound is closed and the surgeon’s instructions, your wound may be left exposed or covered with a bandage.

  • Keep the wound or dressing dry and clean.
  • You may shower 24 hours after surgery. Shower with mild soap and avoid perfumed products. Gently pat the wound dry with a soft, clean towel after shower.
  • Avoid swimming or submerging the wound in bathtubs or hot tubs for at least 2 weeks. 
  • Do not rub or scratch the wound. Do not apply any ointment, powder, or lotion onto the wound.
  • Absorbable sutures that do not require removal are usually used to close the wound. Your nurse will advise if you need to remove any sutures or staples.

You will be informed of your appointment for removal of stitches by your care team. 

Special Instructions 

  • Do not smoke. Smoking impairs circulation and will slow down wound healing.
  • Avoid straining when passing urine or opening your bowels.
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing or fabric that may cause irritation to the wound.
  • Support your wound when you are going to sneeze, cough, laugh, stand up or sit down.
  • It is normal to have some swelling or bruising around the incisions for a few weeks. The bruising usually appears after 2-3 days and may extend to the scrotum area for males.
  • Wearing brief style underwear or athletic supporter can decrease postoperative discomfort.

When and how to seek further treatment

Seek medical consultation with your doctor at the Specialist Outpatient Clinic during office hours or at the Department of Emergency Medicine of Singapore General Hospital after office hours, if any one of the following conditions occurs:

  • Fever of 38 degree celsius and above.
  • Redness, swelling, or discharges (pus or yellowish greenish fluid) from the wound.
  • Large amount of discharges soaking the dressing and requiring constant change.
  • Bleeding from the wound.
  • Persistent or severe pain that is not relieved by prescribed pain medications. 
  • Pain or difficulty passing urine.
  • Severe constipation.
  • Any other abnormal and/or prolonged symptoms, which cause concern.

Contact Us

If you need to clarify on any of the above conditions, you can contact your surgeon through the operator or ward nurse clinician in-charge:

  • Ward Nurse Clinician: (65) 63214570
  • Operator (Singapore General Hospital): (65) 6222 3322

Follow-Up Appointment

Keep your appointment(s) as scheduled.
For any change of appointment(s), you may