My husband had his surgery in Sept. 1999. He had a 15 inch flank incision because the surgeon wanted to get in there and, as he said, "get a good look around". He had quite a bit of discomfort since it was a long incision, but he slept in a recliner for 3 months (way more time than necessary, but it made him feel more comfy) with pillows stuffed all around him to make it easier for him to sleep. He would walk around the house several times a day for exercise and to get his strength back up. He was driving the car after a month but he could have done it at 3 weeks, just didn't want to push himself.
Of course, every patient is different and your husband might not have as much pain as mine did; but IMO one of the most important things to help, is to make sure he is reasonably comfortable so he can get a good sleep at night, which helps with the healing.