Post Laparoscopic Surgery (Laparoscopy) Hernia Repair Log

Last month, I posted information about inguinal hernias here.

Now that my surgery is repaired, here is my recovery log.

Questions like the following are answered below:

  1. When can I start lifting again after surgery (hernia)?
  2. When can I start exercising again after surgery?
  3. What are the effects of a hernia surgical repair?

7/22/2013 – Day Prior to Surgery (Day -1)
7:30 PM: Last meal. I was told to only eat dinner the prior day, then fast for the remaining time.
10:00 PM: Last drink of water. I was told not to drink any water during the day of the surgery.

7/23/2013 – Day of Laparoscopic Hernia Repair Surgery – Right Side (Day 0)
11:30 AM: Checked into hospital, had my height and weight checked. Was asked some important, redundant questions that they’ve asked a couple of times (allergies, previous history, etc.). Ivy was inserted to my left arm.
3:00 PM: Time for my surgery. I was asked to pee one more time before I entered the surgery room.
3:30 PM: They asked me to lay on the operating table. The anesthesiologist asked again about some potential allergies. I was not scared, in fact I was looking forward to finally getting my hernia repair. The anesthesiologist said, “don’t be afraid.” It made me feel uneasy. The nurses began to strap my arms and legs down to the table. I could hear metal clinging in the background. They began to inject something into my ivy and put on a mask.
5:00 PM: Next thing I remember is waking up in my bed. I felt like I had to throw up, but that feeling dissipated within an hour. I was asked to stay awake for the next 6 hours to ensure all of the anesthesia exited my body. Three small holes are in my lower abs (one belly button, two lower abs). I guess they shaved my pubes… funny. Moderate pain, but tolerable. Incredibly dizzy the entire time. Hungry. Getting up to stand is slightly more painful and makes me feel really dizzy. Mouth is dry (dehydrated). I had the misfortune of coughing twice and it was excruciating. I was asked not to drink water until 10:00 PM.
7:00 PM: Nurse came in and asked me to relieve any liquids so I made an attempt to pee. Haven’t had anything to drink so very little pee came out and it was YELLOW.
9:00 PM: Started to feel dizzy just laying down. Still waiting to drink water and fall asleep. Started to feel gassy. I’ve been burping. No pain when I burp, at least.
10:00 PM: Drank some water. It was lukewarm and it still tasted so good! Felt like I had to poop so I went to the bathroom and sat on the toliet, but could not get myself to poop. Not sure where that feeling came from because I haven’t consumed anything in over 24 hours.
10:10 PM: Promptly passed out due to medication.

7/24/2013 – Day After Surgery (Day 1)
6:00 AM: Woke up to pee. Did not notice yesterday, but this morning I see a ton of swelling in my stomach and abdominal area – no visible abs, of course. Nurse came in and brought some additional pain killers and antibiotics so I don’t get an infection. Asked me if I had farted — to which I answered no. Minor-moderate pain, but again, tolerable.
7:00 AM: Breakfast. I ate rice porridge with some soy sauce and kimchi (Korean, I know).
10:00 AM: Farted. YES!
12:00 PM: Ate a complete meal without any issues. Got some phlegm in the back of my mouth so I want to cough and clear it out, but coughing still hurts. If you feel like you’re about to cough, I recommend putting a pillow over your abs to support it. It helps, but you still feel a bit of pain. I’ve been able to get up and out of bed without too much pain when I push up from the side. My testicles feel somewhat sore.
5:30 PM: Ate complete dinner. Everything seems to be working fine. I still have not been able to poop, but the pain is going down to minor. Only feel spikes when I cough or move around a lot. My balls still feel a little sore.

7/25/2013 (Day 2)
4:00 AM: Woke up due to a sharper pain in my stomach. I think my pain meds wore out. Took some more meds and I felt fine. Still haven’t pooped.
7:00 AM: Ate food naturally, everything seems to be going well. Balls are still a little sore, but everything else seems to be okay. I think the pain medications are constipating me.
11:20 AM: The SPECTACULAR FIRST BOWEL MOVEMENT! Oh holy balls, it was painful. Even with all that stool softener, it was hard. It was massive. It was glorious.
5:00 PM: Dinner as normal. Pain seems to be subsiding. Swelling has gone down significantly, but no visible abs.
9:00 PM: Went out for an hour walk. Walked slowly, but probably walked a good mile. No pain whatsoever and it felt good to my confidence to be able to do something that was remotely physically active.

7/26/2013 (Day 3)
10:00 AM: Woke Up with soreness nearly the belly button. Probably a 5 out of 10 in terms of pain. Clearly, pain medications had run out since the last time I had them were over 16 hours ago. Everything seems to be working fine. Thought about having sex, but I don’t think I could bear the pain, yet.
12:00 PM: Took my first shower! Wounds are healing up nicely. I put on waterproof appendages (bandages) over the surgical areas so they wouldn’t get wet. Make sure you don’t get those areas infected. If they do get wet, thoroughly allow them to dry, then apply a disinfectant and potentially a topical antibiotic so they don’t get infected.

7/30/2013 (Week 1)
I went to the doctor’s office again (week post-op follow up). The doctor’s say that the wounds are healing great. They advised me to keep all bandages off. I real virtually no pain in my core, but my right testicle (right ball, right nut, right hand man) is still swollen and painful. There is some discomfort when I relieve myself, but it’s tolerable. Doctor said it should go away soon. I’m also off medications and stool softeners. I went to the gym and did a small (light weight – 25 lbs dumb bells) shoulder and arm workout where there was no core activation. I tried to do a pull-up to see what it would feel like, but as soon as I lifted off the ground, I could feel my core straining so I stopped immediately. Although not vigorous, the workout was awesome and it felt great for my confidence to start doing something again. I haven’t tried running yet and I don’t think I’m going to for about a month. I would rather stick to working out with dumb bells for arms and shoulders (and legs that use vary little core movement). I haven’t tried any compound movements or the big three. I have done some bodyweight squats (unintentionally), but an insignificant number.

8/1/2013 (Week 1.5)
I started to do workouts using dumb bells and bench press again. Because there is slight tension within my core, I reduced my weight by 50% from the last time I worked out. It’s been over a month since I have lifted and a lot of strength has definitely been lost. After activating each of my muscle groups for the first time, I felt sore again! I went lightly on both squats and deadlifts. I felt a little strain or pressure post-workout, but it dissipated after the workout. I did a couple of pull ups and chin ups, but I felt like the 3 wounds from my stomach would rip open so I stopped after my first set.

8/6/2013 (Week 2)
I started my regular routine back up. I lost some strength (since it’s been about two months since I’ve worked out), but I’m around 80% of my lifts. To be on the safe side, I’m resetting my lifts from 70% of my lift numbers. I have also started working in core workouts (abs).

Conclusion:
If you have an inguinal hernia and get a laparoscopic repair, you should be able to lift again within 2 weeks. Just go really lightly for the first 4 days because that’s when reparations to your body are crucial. I thought it would be months before I started working out again, but it feels great.

If you happen to have a hernia, immediately STOP working out and stop straining your body. I can’t repeat this enough! If my hernia got any worse, I would not have had the option to opt for a laparoscopy. In which case, it would have taken over a year to recover.

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