The recovery time from hernia surgery may vary depending on several factors. Some of these factors are what type of hernia is repaired and what size mesh is used during the repair.
A hernia is a hole in the muscle wall of the abdomen. A hernia can be present at birth, or may be the result of an injury. Pressure from inside the abdomen pushes the organs through the hole and creates a bulge.
A hernia will usually require surgery to repair the hole in the abdomen. Most surgeons use a tension-free technique, using mesh to reinforce the repair. The mesh heals with the tissues in the abdomen, incorporating the mesh into the wall of the abdomen.
The recovery time for large mesh tension-free hernia repairs is relatively short. Most patients are allowed to drive about two or three days after surgery, and may return to a sedentary job in about two or three days. Patients that have very active jobs, may wait two to three weeks before returning to work.
Patients may return to light exercise such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike within two or three days following surgery. Moderate exercise such as aerobics and light free weights may be started five to seven days after surgery. Active exercise such as soccer or hockey, may be permitted about two to three weeks following surgery.
The tension free surgical repair of a hernia using large mesh, generally has a shorter recovery time than the traditional hernia repair. Recovery time is based on the age and activity level of the patient, as well as the type of hernia that is being repaired.