Weight Loss After Umbilical Hernia Surgery – How To Get Back On Track

Losing excess weight after umbilical hernia surgery is essential to avoid hernia from reoccurring. But right after your surgery, your doctor will strictly prohibit you from putting any pressure for 4-6 weeks. This implies avoiding heavy workouts for 2-3 months while you can easily perform daily routine tasks. Therefore, to avoid hernias from reoccurring, you need to make slight alterations in your lifestyle, including a healthy diet and a good workout plan to help you lose excess weight. 

Different kinds of hernias have become quite common both in young children and adults. Where umbilical hernia is three times more common in women than men, it’s also common among infants.

There could be many reasons for umbilical hernia, and surgery is recommended depending on the severity of the condition. People usually have many questions regarding what to do after the surgery and whether it is safe to exercise after hernia surgery. Let’s proceed to find out.

Why should you lose weight after umbilical surgery? 

According to Surgery Channel.com, more than 500,000 hernia surgeries are performed every year. But umbilical hernia has a recurring rate of about 19-54%.

Weight is a major factor causing hernia to reoccur even after the surgery. This is because being overweight or obese puts more pressure on the abdominal lining.

Constant pressure due to excessive weight causes the matter within the abdominal walls to burst out again, either from the same spot or through another weaker spot. This leads to severe pain and may at times require another surgery.

After you get your umbilical hernia surgery, it’s important to slowly begin movement and get back on track to lose excess weight in your body. Unfortunately, you can’t start working out right after getting the surgery, and it might take a few weeks before you can start lifting weights and do heavy workouts.

Exercising after umbilical hernia surgery

For adults

Right after your umbilical hernia surgery, you’ll be asked to take it easy for the next few days, after which you can start with your daily routine activities.

You can get involved in household chores that don’t require much activity but easy tasks you can do standing up where pressure isn’t put on your surgery area. Routine office and desk jobs are also allowed.

You can continue these daily routine activities for 2-3 months, but during this time, you aren’t allowed to do a heavy workout which might involve lifting heavy weights and bending down a lot.

After 2-3 months, and depending on your recovery rate, you are allowed to get back to your workout routine, where you can lift heavy weights and lose weight with the workout routine you prefer.

For kids/infants

It’s best not to send your child to school and let them rest at home for about a week to recover from the surgery and anesthetic.

When sending back to school, they should be excused from sports for about two weeks and more if required. Sports, where your child will have to come in contact with others, should be put off for 6-8 weeks.

Exercises to help you lose weight

A young woman is running on a track at a nearby park.

Right after surgery

If you had liposuction to push your abdomen back to normal, you can’t start working out right after the surgery and absolutely avoid doing abdominal workouts such as crunches. It would be best if you gave your body some time to heal. Instead of heavy workouts right after the surgery, focus on taking it lightly with exercises that aren’t strenuous.

1) Practice deep breathing

Shallow breaths might cause the regrowth of a hernia. However, if you had surgery for an umbilical hernia, then taking deep breaths is better than shallow breathing.

Taking deep breaths avoids the accumulation of mucus within the lungs, which helps you avoid lung infections. If you feel like coughing, put a pillow on your stomach to avoid putting pressure on the hernia.

2) Walking

Slow-paced walking is another way to improve the blood circulation of your abdomen side. Walking makes your muscles stronger and boosts the heart’s circulation, allowing the surgery site to receive more blood. This way, your body will heal quickly.

4-6 weeks after surgery

After 4-6 weeks of your umbilical hernia surgery, you can do exercises that can help your abdomen lining and muscles grow stronger.

Besides, maintaining a healthy body will prevent hernias from occurring again. Starting from basic workouts, you can slowly increase the intensity based on your recovery rate. 

1) Simple leg movements

Simple leg movements such as bringing your legs up to your waist while sitting on a chair is the best exercise to carry out after the hernia surgery. During this exercise, make sure you are not putting too much pressure on your abdomen muscles.

2) Core twists

Core twists are performed to strengthen the core and maintain a flexible torso. For example, lay down on your back, extend your arms, lift your legs, and bend your knees first to the left and then to the right side. Repeating torso exercise 2-3 times a day will help you fight the stiffness after the umbilical surgery.

Diet to follow after the surgery

Following a healthy meal will prevent you from gaining weight after umbilical surgery. Eat a fiber-rich diet and try to consume small meals. Doing so will keep the digestive system active and help you in avoiding constipation.

Moreover, incorporate lean proteins such as chicken and fish along with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet plan. It’ll help you maintain a balanced body weight. Consult a nutritionist to make sure you get the right calories and lose your belly fat at the same time.

Abdominoplasty for weight loss after hernia surgery

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure where a plastic surgeon makes an incision near the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles by removing all the excess fat and bulging skin through liposuction.

Although a surgeon may not recommend going for an Abdominoplasty right after hernia surgery. However, after months of doing appropriate exercise and taking a portion control diet, if your belly button still has a pouch, then you can try the technique to improve your looks and get a flat tummy.

If you had liposuction to push your abdomen back to normal, you need to avoid crunches and heavy workouts right after the surgery. Depending on your current situation, you must discuss your options with your physician before making a final decision. 

FAQs

When should I start exercising after hernia surgery?

Wait four weeks before performing mild exercises and at least six weeks before moving to stomach crunches.

Is it okay to take diet pills to lose weight?

Undoubtedly, diet pills effectively create a sense of fullness, increase metabolism, and burn fat, but they can also be dangerous. Some of the side effects of diet pills are increased heart rate, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and liver damage. 

What changes should I bring to my lifestyle to avoid getting a hernia again?

Aim for a healthy lifestyle; quit smoking, make exercise part of your life, eat healthily, and avoid heavy lifting. 

Final thoughts

Surgery for umbilical hernia is required when it reaches a certain level of severity but in itself requires a simple procedure. After the surgery, you can continue with your day-to-day activities after a week of rest. However, to not let umbilical hernia reoccur, you must maintain your weight after the surgery.

Doctors advise maintaining a healthy lifestyle after giving your body adequate time to heal for lasting recovery. This includes eating healthy homemade food and exercising regularly.