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Why has my father developed swelling in the legs after hernia surgery?

Q: My 75 years old father underwent hernia surgery two months back. Till last month, he was on bed rest and was recovering well. However, now he has developed swelling in his feet, pus near the stitches and has started spending at least two hours in the toilet. Why has he developed all these problems and how can they be resolved?

A:Pus should be evacuated. This needs a minor local procedure. In the past, the hernia mesh always needed to be removed if pus developed. These days, the mesh can often (not always) be saved if pus develops. The leg swelling is probably a weakness, associated with a low albumin, but whatever the cause, leg swelling is a bad sign. It may be related to the heart or to clots in the leg. You should get your father admitted to a hospital till the cause of the leg swelling is properly evaluated. Prolonged time in the toilet may be due to an enlarged prostate, constipation, or even due to a spread of the infection. Your father needs hospitalisation for evaluation.

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