What is the proper monitoring and follow-up of patients with laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020
  • Author: Danny A Sherwinter, MD; Chief Editor: Kurt E Roberts, MD  more...
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Most patients who have undergone a TEP procedure can be discharged on the day of the operation. Because urinary retention occasionally develops, all patients should be able to void before discharge. Patients should also be told to expect some ecchymosis at the base of the penis and some temporary edema of the testes. Narcotic pain medicine is usually required for 2-3 days after the operation.

While the postoperative course is generally uncomplicated, patients must be routinely instructed to recognize certain signs and symptoms that can alert them to the potential complications as discussed above. [88, 89]

Large-scale studies examining the convalescence period after elective inguinal herniorrhaphy determined that the median length of absence from work was 7 days when patients were advised by their surgeons to limit the recuperation period and to resume normal activities within 1 day after the procedure. Moreover, these studies confirmed that early resumption of activities (including exercise) did not increase the risk of recurrence. Thus, with adequate analgesia, patients can safely return to their daily duties. [88, 89]

After a TEP repair, patients should be seen in the office for a follow-up visit within 1 month (ideally, within 1 week). Patients who had large hernias often have seromas, which can be easily differentiated from recurrent hernias on examination, in that a seroma is a distinct fluid collection that is not reducible. If the diagnosis is in doubt, ultrasonography may be useful. Most seromas resolve within 6 weeks of the operation. After the initial visit, follow-up may be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

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