A hernia occurs when an internal organ protrudes through an opening in the muscle or connective tissue that holds it in place. For example, a hernia can occur because the intestines are protruding from the abdominal wall. Patients with hernias generally have abdominal hernias, but hernias can occur in the groin, navel, and groin area. Surgery is the only way to treat a hernia. After undergoing hernia surgery, it is possible for the patient to be constipated due to general anesthesia during the operation. Patients experience constipation if they defecate only 3 times a week. Usually, this complaint is a side effect of several types of drugs, such as antacids (digestive tract drugs), antidepressants, antiepileptics, calcium and iron supplements, antipsychotics, pain relievers containing opium (morphine and codeine), and diuretics.
Method 1 of 4: Changing Your Lifestyle and Diet
Step 1. Get in the habit of drinking at least 2 liters of water every day
Usually, constipation is caused by a lack of fluid in the stool so that it becomes hard and difficult to pass through the anus. This happens because the peristaltic movement (muscle contraction) of the digestive tract stops as an anesthetic effect when the patient undergoes hernia surgery.
Increase your fluid intake so that your stools become soft and you don't have to strain during a bowel movement
Step 2. Eat high-fiber foods
The fiber content in food is useful for preventing constipation because it functions to absorb fluids from the large intestine so that the stool becomes soft and easier to pass.
- Meet the needs of at least 20 grams of fiber per day. For that, eat fiber foods, such as raspberries, apples, pears, bananas, figs, strawberries, raisins, popcorn, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, lentils, almonds, pistachios, peas, broccoli, radishes, mini cabbage, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes.
- In addition, you can take Metamucil, which is a laxative and fiber supplement. Metamucil can be taken after or before meals. Drink a glass of water after taking Metamucil for maximum absorption of the drug.
- If you want to take Metamucil, the dose for men aged 19 years and over is 38 grams/day; women aged 19 years and over 25 grams/day. Pregnant and lactating women should consult a doctor before taking Metamucil. Usually, the dose for pregnant women is 28 grams/day; breastfeeding women 29 grams/day.
- If advised by a doctor, children may take Metamucil. Dosage for children 1-3 years 19 grams/day; children 4-8 years 25 grams/day; boys 9-13 years 31 grams/day; girls 9-13 years 26 grams/day; boys 14-18 years 38 grams/day, girls 14-18 years 26 grams/day.
Step 3. Do not perform high-intensity activities or lift heavy objects
After surgery, especially during the first few weeks, do not do high-intensity activities or lift heavy objects because the surgical wound can open.
Step 4. Make time for light exercise
One way of light exercise is walking. This step serves to smooth the flow of food juices into the large intestine so that the absorption of fluid from the stool is reduced. Exercise also stimulates the natural contractions of the digestive tract muscles. Stool is easier to pass if the muscle is properly contracted.
- Exercising 1 hour after eating is beneficial for blood flow to the stomach and intestines so that the digestive process of food goes well. Take time to walk slowly for 15-30 minutes every day so that the surgical wound does not open.
- During the first 4 weeks after surgery, do not exercise high intensity, such as running, jogging, or other activities that involve physical contact because these activities can trigger problems in the surgical wound.
- Patients who have to lie in bed may swing their feet slowly left and right or rotate their wrists and feet for 30-45 minutes daily to stimulate peristalsis (muscle contractions) of the digestive tract. Peristaltic movements can help reduce constipation.
Step 5. Don't smoke
When undergoing hernia surgery, an anesthetic stops the peristaltic movement of the intestines. After surgery, the intestines do not function properly if you smoke. Nicotine in cigarettes is a vascular constrictor because it triggers the narrowing of blood vessels so that blood flow to the intestine is reduced.
Reduced blood flow inhibits the process of digestion of food because the rhythmic movement (peristalsis) of the intestine is reduced. Thus, digested food is retained in the intestines longer. At this time, the large intestine continues to absorb fluids from digested food, resulting in constipation due to solid or hard stools
Step 6. Ask your doctor about taking Colace
This drug is very effective in softening stools. Some medications to soften stools can cause intestinal bleeding, dependence, and alter the natural balance of the intestines if used for too long. Consult with your doctor to find out which laxatives are most effective in treating constipation.
- Colace causes stools to absorb more fluids, making them softer and easier to pass.
- If you are taking Colace, a safe dose is 50-500 grams 1 time a day.
Step 7. Ask your doctor about other brands of laxatives, such as Senna (Senokot, Ex-Lax) and Bisacodyl (Correctol, Doxidan, Dulcolax)
If you are taking Senna, the safe dose for adults (19 years and older): 2 tablets (17.2 mg) 1 time daily taken at bedtime the night before or after meals. Do not take more than 2 tablets a day and do not exceed 1 week, unless advised by a doctor.
- Senna dosage is safe for patients aged 2-6 years: tablet (4.3 mg) taken at bedtime up to 1 tablet per day; patients aged 6-12 years: 1 tablet (8.6 mg) taken at bedtime up to 1 tablet per day; patients aged 13-18 years: 2 tablets (17.2 mg) taken at bedtime for a maximum of 4 tablets per day.
- Pregnant and lactating women should consult a doctor before taking Senna.
- The safe dose of Bisacodyl for adults (18 years and over): 1-3 tablets (5-15 mg) taken 1 time a day before or after meals. Do not take more than 15 mg per day.
- Children under 18 years of age and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take Bisacodyl, unless advised by a doctor.
Step 8. Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications
Laxatives can affect the body's ability to absorb other medications, such as antacids, mineral oil, castor oil, antibiotics, blood thinners, heart medications, and bone medications. So, you should consult a doctor to find out the most appropriate laxative.
Method 2 of 4: Seeking Medical Help
Step 1. Check for blood in the stool
If you strain during a bowel movement, the hernia wound may bleed or open so that there is blood in the stool.
Step 2. Pay attention to the presence or absence of pain such as being scratched or slashed by a knife in the anus during defecation
Straining long enough can cause the anal veins to become swollen. Large, hard stools can tear the tissue around the anus.
Step 3. Consult a doctor if you have fever, swelling and/or bleeding in the operated body part, excessive sweating, or severe pain
These symptoms can indicate an infection.
Step 4. See a doctor if you have severe stomach pain
Stool that is stuck in the intestines due to constipation can clog the openings in the intestines. This condition causes stool to accumulate in the newly operated part of the intestine and block blood flow so that the tissue dies. If you experience this, the pain receptors around the affected tissue will be stimulated so that there is an unbearable pain like being cut by a knife.
Method 3 of 4: Knowing the Type of Hernia
Step 1. Know the most common type of hernia, which is an inguinal hernia (related to the groin)
Men are more at risk of developing an inguinal hernia if the inguinal canal does not close properly, resulting in a hernia in weak muscle tissue. Under normal conditions, the testicles will enter the inguinal canal shortly after the baby is born and the canal is almost completely closed. An inguinal hernia occurs when the intestines protrude through the inguinal canal.
The inguinal canal is in the groin. In men, inguinal hernias occur in areas of the body that contain sperm canals (to hold the testicles) starting from the abdomen to the scrotum (scrotum). In women, the inguinal canal is made up of ligaments that hold the uterus in place
Step 2. Know what a hiatal hernia means
A person has a hiatal hernia if part of his stomach sticks out of the chest through the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia triggers reflux of stomach acid so that the chest feels like it is burning as gastric juices flow into the esophagus.
- In general, hiatal hernia affects people aged 50 years and over.
- Babies with congenital defects are more at risk of developing a hiatal hernia.
Step 3. Take the baby to the doctor's clinic for an umbilical hernia
Babies under 6 months have an umbilical hernia if their intestines protrude through the abdominal wall near the belly button. There is a possibility that your baby will have an umbilical hernia if there is a bulge or swelling near his belly button when he cries.
- Usually, umbilical hernias go away on their own when the baby is 1 year old.
- If the hernia is still there after the baby is 1 year old, he or she may need surgery to treat the hernia.
Step 4. Watch out for incisional hernias if you have recently had surgery with an incision in the abdominal wall
Incisional hernias occur when the incision protrudes through the surgical wound or weak muscle tissue due to the abdominal wall being cut during surgery.
Method 4 of 4: Understanding Hernia Removal Surgery Method (Herniorafi)
Step 1. Opt for laparoscopic surgery if possible
This surgery causes small cuts to the tissue around the hernia and the healing time is shorter, but hernias can occur again.
This method is performed using a small camera and miniature surgical instruments that are inserted into the patient's body through small incisions. To treat a hernia, the doctor stitches an opening in the abdominal wall and holds it tightly with medical gauze
Step 2. Prepare for surgery with a wide incision if the bowel is dislocated
This operation is performed if part of the intestine descends into the scrotum. There is a possibility, the doctor cuts a certain area in the scrotum or groin in order to reposition the intestine that triggers the hernia. Then, he sews up the incision to seal it tightly.
The recovery period after undergoing this surgery is longer. The patient can return to normal activities 6 weeks after surgery
Step 3. Know that the patient will be under local or general anesthesia prior to surgery
Usually, patients do not need to stay in the hospital after undergoing hernia surgery. The surgeon will reposition the tissue that triggered the hernia. If there is strangulation, the doctor will cut the organ that lacks oxygen. The damaged muscle wall will be covered with medical gauze or synthetic tissue to allow it to heal.