Postoperative Care Instructions for Orchiopexy, Hernia and Hydrocele
The below instructions are general guidelines. Specific changes or instructions for your child may differ and are intended for CHOC Children’s patients. Please follow instructions given to you by your surgeon and CHOC Urology staff.
Thank you for choosing CHOC Children’s for surgery. Orchiopexies, hernia and hydrocele procedures are performed in an operating room and are normally completed on an outpatient basis, and do not require an overnight in the hospital.
Patients only consume clear liquids immediately after surgery and then progress to a regular diet as tolerated. The anesthesia can cause some stomach discomfort and nausea.
Patients may be sent home with Tylenol #3 to be taken as needed for pain. Most children need it for one to three days. If the doctor prescribed Tylenol #3 (with codeine) tablet or elixir, please try to give it to the patient as little as possible because codeine can cause constipation, which can be painful. Miralax is an over the counter stool softener and can be used to relieve constipation if it occurs. Whenever possible, try to use Ibuprofen (also known as Motrin or Advil) instead of the Tylenol #3. Do not take Tylenol #3 and Tylenol at the same time – this can be an overdose and is harmful. If needed, Ibuprofen and ONE Tylenol product can be taken within the same time period. Should you have questions regarding dosage and timing of pain medication after surgery, please contact our office.
To reduce swelling and discomfort, you may place a sandwich bag full of ice covered in a cloth or towel over the surgical area. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
The child may be placed in the bath or swimming pool 24 hours after surgery. The dressing may or may not come off on its own, and either way is fine. Swelling and bruising are normal, especially near the incision on the abdomen or the scrotum. It is normal for the incision to be pinkish or red; however, if it becomes very red or dark red and/or has pus, please call the office. The clear bandage on top is called “Tegaderm,” and the little cloth-like bandages underneath are called “steri-strips.” Sometimes there is a little blood that has soaked through the steri-strips, which is normal. Often a gray material (surgical glue) will be over the incision area and will fall off on its own. The stitches will dissolve on their own in about two weeks.
After surgery, try to be mindful of the position of the patient’s testicles. They should be in the base of the scrotum; however, sometimes after surgery involving an inguinal incision (hernia and/or hydrocele), it is possible for scar tissue to develop and “tug” the testicle upwards. At each diaper change, or three to four times each day, make sure that you can gently pull the testicle down into the base of the scrotum. Older children can do it themselves. If the child had an orchiopexy, the testicle is now stitched into the scrotum and cannot travel upwards. Sometimes there is a very small dimple that looks like a hole at the base of the scrotum where the stitch is. This will reduce over time and is normal.
For two to three weeks after the surgery, the child should avoid trauma to the surgical area and avoid rough-housing, contact sports, bicycle riding or physical education. Younger children should avoid walkers or straddle toys like bouncy chairs and jumpers or rocking horses. At the child’s follow-up appointment, about one week after surgery, our staff will provide more specific directions as to when it is safe to return to activities. Most children are able to return to school within a few days of surgery, as tolerated.