Shouldice Hospital recommends a healthy diet for hernia repair, and one that focuses on achieving an acceptable body weight. The goal is to help patients lose weight so that fat no longer hangs from and weakens the abdominal muscles, helping the surgery to go more smoothly.
When needed, a hernia weight loss diet is individualized for each patient by the registered dietitian on staff at Shouldice Hospital. However, patients do not typically have to go on a special diet before or after a hernia surgery, explains University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Many patients have a decrease in appetite immediately following surgery and experience some nausea. Bowel movements are different for several days after surgery. Patients can experience constipation or diarrhea and an increase in gas.
Hernia surgery occurs via either herniorrhaphy or laparoscopy, says the Mayo Clinic. Herniorrhaphy is an open surgery in which a mesh is placed over the rupture and the tissue is sewn together. Laparoscopy is less invasive, requiring only a few small incisions through which mesh is inserted and the tissue repaired. Laparoscopy is considered preferable to herniorrhaphy because there is less scarring and quicker recovery, although complications can also increase. Patients can prevent further hernias by eating a diet high in fiber, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking. They should also avoid lifting heavy objects.