5.2 Back home
Your mobility and general physical condition will improve quickly during the hospital stay so in general you can be discharged after a few days (on average after 2 to 4 days). Once home, you will soon be able to resume your normal daily activities. You need have no reservations about engaging in physical activities so long as you feel no pain. But you should avoid a number of things so as not to place undue stress on the surgical scar before the tissue has regained its entire strength.
The following checklist can help you here.
- If you have covered your wound with a water-repellent material, you can shower briefly again as from the 2nd day after your operation. But you should wait around 2 weeks before taking a full bath.
- As from when you will be able to resume work will depend on the nature of your job. On average you can do so 2–6 weeks after open surgery and somewhat sooner after a laparoscopic procedure.
- You should wait for some time before carrying heavy loads. The first two weeks after surgery you should not lift anything heavier than 10 kg, and weights over 30 kg only after around three months. Here, too, you should definitely ensure that you feel no pain. Never under any circumstances lift anything by exerting pressure on your back or abdomen; instead, bend your knees and put the weight on your legs.
- You should drive an automobile, motorbike or other motor vehicle or bicycle only when you are completely painfree.
- As from when you can engage in sport again will depend on your pain perception and type of sport. You should wait for some time before engaging in any type of sport involving jerky movements, jumping or abrupt braking and acceleration movements (e.g. ball games). You should wait around 12 weeks before engaging in heavy athletics, in particular any exercises aimed at strengthening the abdominal muscles.
- You need have no reservations about engaging in sexual relations so long as you feel no pain.
These tips are of a general nature, but the level of exertion tolerated will differ from one patient to another. You doctor will therefore be happy to answer any particular questions you might have.