I Still Feel A Lump After Hernia Surgery; What Should I Do?

After any surgery, your body goes through various stages of healing. If you notice a hard lump after your hernia repair, don’t panic. There is a much deeper explanation of the healing process that you should take note of.

i still feel a lump after hernia surgery

We often get questions like, “I still feel a lump after hernia surgery, what should I do?” so we have decided to ask our team of experts to help break it down to you once and for all.

After any surgery, your body goes through various stages of healing. If you notice a hard lump after your hernia repair, don’t panic. There is a much deeper explanation of the healing process that you should take note of.


I Still Feel A Lump After Hernia Surgery : Is It Normal?

A week or two following your hernia repair surgery, you might notice a hard lump formation that seems like a firm ridge under the incision. Your body’s normal healing process utilizes scar tissues to form in multiple layers, which is why it is common to feel a lump afterward. There will be no need for any medical attention as it will resolve naturally after a few months.


Post-Hernia Repair: The Healing Stages

After your hernia repair surgery, your body undergoes three stages before its full recovery. These stages are:

Inflammatory Stage

As the initial stage for hernia repair, your body starts to recover by utilizing white blood cells. These cells move into the site of the incision and are responsible for removing other cells with an injury. They also eliminate any unknown bacteria or debris that are present. Surgeons can minimize this stage by proper handling of tissues and careful hemostasis.

Proliferation Stage

other reasons for lump after surgeryDuring this stage, another group of tissue repair cells will work their way through the incision site to repair and strengthen the area. This group of cells is also known as fibroblasts. They act as a connective network that helps in binding together strands of collagen, essential for recovery. After the collagen strengthens the wound, you will notice a firm ridge that forms on the site. This formation is called the “Healing Ridge.” A healing ridge comes in the form of a hard lump that extends around the incision.

There are instances that a healing ridge may feel slightly painful than the previous healing stage. It would be best if you were not alarmed when this happens. By this time, the muscle fibers are beginning to take charge and contract to initiate pulling sensation to make the affected area tighter than the rest. The healing ridge is normal for every post-surgery recovery process, which you may expect to disappear in about five to six weeks.

Maturation Stage

Finally, the collagen fibers return to their proper alignment. The hard lump from the healing ridge slowly disappears as excess tissues dissipate. Some cells that are no longer valuable die, making the incision site softer and less lumpy. The maturation stage completes once the area returns to its flat appearance.


Other Reasons for Having A Lump After Hernia Surgery

Fluid Collections

Fluid collections, also known as seroma, can also cause lumps after hernia surgery. The fluid builds up under your skin surface and most often develops at the site of the surgical incision. Swelling begins a few weeks after the hernia repair, especially when empty pockets are left alone.

In most cases, it is enough for the surgical team to prepare drainage tubes around the site of the incision to prevent seroma. Some drainage tubes are left in a few hours to a few days to facilitate the fluid collection, depending on the tissue removed.

Recurrent Hernia

Another reason for lumping after hernia repair is the recurrence of one. Yes, you’ve read that right. Hernias can return, even after surgery. You may also call it an incisional hernia. This type of hernia occurs after an initial hernia repair fails to recover, causing another hernia to reappear. You may recognize a recurrent hernia as a lump or bulge, which is sometimes painful. You can usually find it on the actual site where the previous hernia is or anywhere nearby.

Incisional or recurrent hernia reappears for a variety of reasons, such as the following:

  • Type of surgery and size of incision done.
  • Performing physical activities too soon after surgery.
  • Wound infection from the initial surgery.
  • Obesity.
  • Getting pregnant.
  • Excess pressure on the site of surgery.
  • Healing problems.


Post-Hernia Surgery Recovery: What to Do


  • Have follow-up visits

You may say, ‘I still feel a lump after hernia surgery.’ After a hernia repair, your doctor may find it necessary to have post-surgery visits. Follow-up appointments are essential to keep track of your recovery and prevent any unnecessary complications that may arise.

  • Avoid self-medication

When you find a hard lump after your hernia surgery, be sure to call your doctor as soon as possible for the proper assessment and treatment options. Some post-surgery complications are potentially life-threatening, and self-medicating will not help but would instead worsen the situation.

  • Maintain a proper diet and bowel care

Your doctor might provide you with some diet restrictions and bowel care instructions after your surgery. Having post-surgery medications can cause changes in your bowel movements, which is why it is essential to take note of what to avoid throughout your recovery period.

  • Increase fluid intake

Drink plenty of fluids, at least two liters per day, to keep yourself well-hydrated. Your body requires more fluids than usual to help improve your recovery process. You may ask your healthcare provider for the recommended fluids such as water, juices, or sports drinks.

  • Restrict your activity after surgery

Although you may resume your normal activities, it is recommended not to overstrain yourself. Perform average-level movements such as walking and taking the stairs to improve your circulation, but always do what you can only tolerate at the time. Doing heavy activities such as lifting and other physical exertion might cause complications or, worse, failure in your recovery.

  • Follow wound care procedures

It would be best if you took note of the general guidelines needed to care for your wound. Here are some tips that might help:

  1. Keep your dressings dry and clean for the first forty-eight hours. However, some instances may change depending on your doctor’s advice.
  2. Wash the wounds gently with soap and water. Carefully dry afterward.
  3. Avoid soaking in the pool or tub for at least two weeks after surgery.


Follow the proper incision care reminders

  • care tips after hernia surgeryStaple incisions. Your doctor will take off the staples during your follow-up appointment.
  • White paper strips. It would be best if you left these on until they fall off on their own.
  • Skin glue. Do not scrub off the skin glue. It will naturally wear off for about a week after treatment.
  • Surgical drains. If you have a surgical drain, do not remove it and follow proper caring techniques from your healthcare provider.


Call immediately in case of emergency

If you ever noticed anything unusual and alarming, such as the ones listed below, be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Your temperature is higher than 38°C.
  • You are having difficulty in breathing following chest pain.
  • Bleeding, pus drainage or redness is around the incision site.
  • Unbearable pain at the incision, even after pain medications.
  • You are experiencing vomiting, pain due to abdominal distension and bloating.
  • You are having difficulty urinating and having bowel movements.



What to Expect After Hernia Surgery. (Johns Hopkins Medicine, Retrieved and Accessed February 2021).

Should I worry about a seroma? (Medical News Today, Retrieved and Accessed February 2021).

Open Inguinal Hernia Surgery Care Instructions. (University Hospitals, Retrieved and Accessed February 2021).

I Still Feel A Lump After Hernia Surgery; What Should I Do?
Article Name
I Still Feel A Lump After Hernia Surgery; What Should I Do?
After any surgery, your body goes through various stages of healing. If you notice a hard lump after your hernia repair, don’t panic.

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