Return to outdoor walking, car driving, and sexual activity following elective inguinal hernia repair: surgeons’ perspective versus patients’ reality



To determine the time to resumption of outdoor walking, car driving, sports, and sexual activity following elective inguinal hernia repair, and to reveal if there are differences between surgeons’ recommendations and patients’ real return times.


A questionnaire including questions about recommendations to hernia patients for times to resume outdoor walking ability without assistance, driving and sexual intercourse after an elective inguinal hernia repair was sent to surgeons. Also, a short questionnaire was sent to patients who had undergone elective inguinal hernia repair to search the exact times for resuming these physical activities.


Surgeons’ thoughts and recommendations to their patients varied significantly. The range of recommendations were same day to 20 days for outdoor walking, and same day to 3 months both for driving and sexual intercourse. Patients’ actual resumption of postoperative activities were 1–14 days for outdoor walking, 1 day to 3 months for driving, and 1 day to 2 months for sexual intercourse. When the answers from the two questionnaires were compared, it was observed that the mean times for resumption of outdoor walking and sexual intercourse were significantly longer in the patients’ lives than recommended by the surgeons. Patients ≥ 60 years were able to walk outside, drive, and participate in sexual activity earlier than the younger patients. Bilateral and recurrent hernia repairs caused slower resumption of different activities in comparison to primary hernias.


Patients reported that times for resumption of outdoor walking, driving, and sexual activity were significantly longer than those recommended by surgeons. Age, BMI, bilateral repair, and recurrent hernias were found to be factors affecting return time to different activities.

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Correspondence to H. Kulacoglu.

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Kulacoglu, H., Celasin, H. & Karaca, A.S. Return to outdoor walking, car driving, and sexual activity following elective inguinal hernia repair: surgeons’ perspective versus patients’ reality. Hernia (2020).

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  • Inguinal hernia
  • TEP
  • Lichtenstein repair
  • Postoperative
  • Convalescence