How painful is hernia surgery?
There is virtually no pain during the first 12 hours. We do the surgery under a combination of general and local anesthesia. When you wake up in recovery the local anesthetic is in effect. The local anesthetic usually lasts 12 hours so your first day and night you are very comfortable. When the local wears off you may need to start taking some pain pills. Most patients only need the pain pills for about 3 or 4 days. On the average my patients tell me that the pain that they experience during the first week is a 3-4 on a scale of 1-10. It is not punishing but its enough to let you know you have to take it easy.
Half of my patients never take a pain pill. To decrease the need for pain pills I give a second medication, not a narcotic, which decreases the need for a narcotic.