I had a bilateral (double) hernia operation last September at the Shouldice Hospital here in Toronto www.shouldice.com
-- Apparently they are internationally reknown for their surgical technique. In fact, the only surgery the hospital does are hernias!
I discovered it in July 2009, about a month after I had the flu -- I was changing clothes after work, and when I removed my underwear I had a HUGE bulge sticking out of the right side of my abdomen (I would later notice a smaller one on my left side). I went to the doctor who confirmed it, and in turn "referred" me to the Shouldice (you don't need a doctor's referral -- they'll assess you there). I was assessed there at the beginning of August, and was operated on end of September.
Apparently, it occurred when I had the flu -- my body was, um, "uncontrollably expelling" stuff out of my lower end, so much so that it caused a rupture in the sack that holds your intestines in place (this can also happen to women who are giving birth and bear down too hard).
The surgery itself was covered by provincial health care (YAY Universal Healthcare) with the exception of the cost of the room (they're all semi-private, and as such were $150/night. However, this expense was covered though my extended coverage at work) As it was a bilateral hernia, I was required to be in hospital for 6 nights (as per their surgical and post-op observational requirements):Sunday
-- checked in that afternoonMonday
-- right side was done in the afternoon, made post-op phone calls while stoned on anaesthic, was up walking -- shuffling really -- that nightTuesday
-- half of the metal "pinching" things holding my 5" incision came out, spent the day walking and resting as I was able toWednesday
-- the other half of the "pinching" things came out in the morning and then they did the other side in the afternoon. Was surprisingly more agile post-op than on MondayThursday
-- half of the metal "pinching" things holding my OTHER 5" incision came out, spent the day walking and resting as I was able toFriday
-- the other half of the "pinching" things came out in the morning , walked & rested as I was able toSaturday
-- released by noon
At night, they gave us something to help us sleep -- just to take the edge off, not to knock us out completely. However, if we needed more for pain we could get it.
My scars are on my lower abdomen, sort of parallel to my hip bones. Thanks to some scar-reducing gel (Dermatix) they are fading. They tried to use local anaesthetic on me, but I don't take to it well, so they had to put me out totally both times (at least I think it was both...definitely the first time...man those meds were GOOD!)
I didn't really have pain with it, just the awkardness and twinges of pain when the "pinching" things were in (they don't use staples or sutures) and I would lie on my side in my sleep. I also had twinges when the nerves were regenerating. I didn't need help moving around, nor did I need help getting in & out of bed (although I had to do it slowly) -- in fact, I don't recall anyone at the hospital requiring assistance. I was walking around around almost completely normally by I think it might have something to do their surgical technique. I was off the next week as well -- I found it took a lot out of me, and I spent my time sleeping and doing self-directed "physio" (going out for walks & using an exercise bike). I live alone and didn't need anyone to come & look after me or help me with anything.
I recovered within weeks and can do pretty much anything that I did before. I can't remember the guidelines they gave us, but it was several weeks before I went to back to weight training. If you follow the doctor's guidelines, as well as listening to your body as you train, you should be OK.
If you have any other questions, feel free to message me. Let us know what you decide to do. Good luck!