Recovery Time for Open Inguinal Hernia Surgery

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue—usually from the small intestine—protrudes through the part of abdominal wall near the groin. Open surgeries, where a surgeon makes a long incision into the groin, is one type of surgery to address this problem. In most cases, you go home the same day as the procedure, but some people might require a hospital stay.


WebMD states some people can return to work in about a week, but the site advises waiting at least three weeks, or six weeks if your job involves strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting. Straining yourself too soon can cause the hernia to come back.

Regular Activity

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Typically, you can resume normal day-to-day living within a few weeks. Professional opinions vary but most indicate a full recovery in two to four weeks. WebMD suggests three to four while the American College of Surgeons suggests two to three. Ultimately, it depends on the individual.


You can engage in light exercise, like walking, three weeks after surgery. More strenuous activity should wait for six weeks.

Sexual Activity

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You can engage in sexual activity about two weeks after surgery, according to the American College of Surgeons.


WebMD suggests refraining from driving until the pain in your groin has resolved, which typically happens in about two weeks.