Yes, hiccups are quite common during recovery. The diaphragm has been irritated during the hernia repair, which is a trigger. Eating too fast is a trigger for some. I know they can be very painful, but they will resolve with time. He could try eating more slowly, and see if it helps.
Another post-fundo patient had this suggestion that he found helpful:
I can stop a spell of these hiccups immediately by taking some candied Ginger root, chewing it in my mouth carefully, swallowing the juices and spitting out the pulp. The ginger has the effect on me of soothing the esophagus and halts the hiccup urge. It has worked repeatedly for me. It may be placebo effect, but if you Google it, ginger is listed as something for hiccups. Plus, it tastes really good. Just don't swallow the fibrous pulp!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”