Abdominal Mesh Removal – Care After

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, it is common to have:

  • Pain.

  • Swelling.

  • Bruising.

  • Some fluid or blood draining.

  • Scarring.

Follow these instructions at home:

Medicines

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.

  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your health care provider. Do not stop using the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.

  • Ask your health care provider if the medicine prescribed to you:

    • Requires you to avoid driving or using machinery.

    • Can cause constipation. You may need to take these actions to prevent or treat constipation:

      • Drink enough fluid to keep your urine pale yellow.

      • Take over-the-counter or prescription medicines.

      • Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as beans, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

      • Limit foods that are high in fat and processed sugars, such as fried or sweet foods.

Incision care

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  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your incision. Make sure you:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after you change your bandage (dressing). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.

    • Change your dressing as told by your health care provider.

    • Leave stitches (sutures), skin glue, or adhesive strips in place. These skin closures may need to stay in place for 2 weeks or longer. If adhesive strip edges start to loosen and curl up, you may trim the loose edges. Do not remove adhesive strips completely unless your health care provider tells you to do that.

  • Check your incision area every day for signs of infection. Check for:

    • More redness, swelling, or pain.

    • More fluid or blood.

    • Warmth.

    • Pus or a bad smell.

Drain care

If you have a surgical drain in the area of the incision:

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to care for the drain and tubes.

  • Do not remove your drains or tubes until your health care provider tells you to do that.

Activity

  • Do not lift anything that is heavier than 10 lb (4.5 kg), or the limit that you are told, until your health care provider says that it is safe.

  • Avoid exercise, activities, or sports that take a lot of effort or put strain on your surgical area.

  • Avoid sexual activity until your health care provider says it is safe.

  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.

General instructions

  • Do not take baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves. Ask your health care provider if you may take showers. You may only be allowed to take sponge baths.

  • Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco. These products include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol.

  • Keep all follow-up visits. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You have severe pain and medicines do not help.

  • You have any of these signs of infection:

    • More redness, swelling, or pain around your incision.

    • More fluid or blood coming from your incision.

    • Warmth coming from your incision.

    • Pus or a bad smell coming from your incision.

    • A fever or chills.

Get help right away if:

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have problems breathing.

  • You have swelling or pain in your lower legs.

These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

Summary

  • It is common to have pain, swelling, and bruising after your procedure.

  • Check your incision area every day for signs of infection.

  • Do not remove your drains or tubes until your health care provider tells you to do that.

  • Do not lift anything that is heavier than 10 lb (4.5 kg), or the limit that you are told, until your health care provider says that it is safe.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

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