ZocdocAnswersCan coughing damage hernia repair?

Question

Can coughing damage hernia repair?

What are the risks to healing after you have surgery for a hernia? My dad, who's pushing 70, just had a hernia and complications with his intestine. I know it's very important for him to heal from this, and yet he's spending a lot of time on his feet cleaning, which makes him cough. Are these things a risk to his healing process?

Answer

When it comes to medical issues in a person who just had a surgery, it is best to contact the surgeon who performed the procedure so that he or she can give you the best advise. In the case of a hernia repair, the post-operative care and risks are largely dependent on the type of hernia and the type of repair. Coughing increases intra-abdominal pressure which puts pressure on the healing wound of an abdominal hernia repair. In theory, this could damage the tissue within his abdominal wall that has been sewed together. However, the repair techniques used, along with the quality of the mesh material that is often used in repairs makes it very unlikely that a cough could break open or harm a hernia repair. As stated above, there are more than one type of hernia and repair different situations warrant different levels of caution. While your dad may not be harming himself by working and coughing, its never a bad idea to take it easy in the days to weeks following an operation. It is a lot easier to be sure if you play it safe. I think you next step should be to contact the surgeon that performed the procedure and ask him or her what their advise is on the situation. Good luck.

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