Hernia surgery and time off the bike?
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  1. #1
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    Hernia surgery and time off the bike?

    Any advice recuperating from hernia surgery? I had it yesterday and the doctor told me 4-6 weeks off the bike-yikes!! Doesn't hurt that bad, trying not to take too much of the pain medication!
    Give me some feedback if you've had similar surgery; I had one by my belly button and another near the bikini line repaired!

  2. #2
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    ... has your doctor or surgeon hook'd you up with PT? You could discuss your needs/concerns/wants with a therapist who might be able to tailor a program for you.

    No experience with that surgery... but comebacks can sometimes take a while... and may have a couple of one step forward two steps back involved so hang in there (no pun intended).

  3. #3
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    Really depends what kind/size of mesh they used to patch it, I wouldn't take the chance, take 6 weeks off.

  4. #4
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    had it about 10 years ago. 2 things you MUST follow:
    - walk as much as possible for as long as possible. this will help heal faster.
    - have a small pillow around if you need to cough. place over area in anticipation of said cough. after your first cough without pillow, you will know why.
    don't worry, recovery is quick and 100%. I just looked at an old training log, and I was doing training races at 6 weeks post surgery.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fignon's Barber View Post
    had it about 10 years ago. 2 things you MUST follow:
    - walk as much as possible for as long as possible. this will help heal faster.
    - have a small pillow around if you need to cough. place over area in anticipation of said cough. after your first cough without pillow, you will know why.
    don't worry, recovery is quick and 100%. I just looked at an old training log, and I was doing training races at 6 weeks post surgery.
    I can empathize with the pillow; first cough without felt like someone was stabbing me. I've also been using mine to help me get up etc.

  6. #6
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    Had my apendix out before so I'm familiar with your situation...

    If I were you I'd talk to my doctor about riding on a stationary/trainer since they don't work the core nearly as much. They should be a lot more open to advising a few hours a week on the trainer so long as it's not high intensity.

    What kind of workouts are you missing out on right now? I only ask because I just started my annual 2 week recovery period on Sunday. If you're on a similar schedule you shouldn't be missing out on much.

    Let me know how everything goes...I actually went to the doctor a few months ago because I have a hernia just above my belly button. Doc' said it wasn't serious and just keep an eye on it because it's not nearly bad enough to get surgery (mine is maybe thumb-size and I can push it back in a few times a day without any issue)...kinda gross though

  7. #7
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    I was back on my bike 3 weeks post op. Flat rides only, minimal effort. Basically, light recovery rides. 8 weeks later I was back to my normal routine of hills.

  8. #8
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    I had a hernia surgery several years back, it was a large hernia so they couldn't do it via orthroscope(is that the term?). I was out for a month from anything, basically stay at home and surf the couch. I'd do what they recommend and not push it.

  9. #9
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    I had surgery for my hernia on Feb 15, 2011. My hernia was right below my belt line, on the right side. I had to be totally cut open, and I spent the night in the hospital.
    But when I got home I was on the sofa watching Netflix for about 5 days. The first two, I didn't even move. Just got up to go to the bathroom, and it hurt like hell to stand up. I used an old golf putter as a cane.
    Went back to work, desk job, on Feb 28th. Got back on the bike on March 5th.

    The only issue I had getting back on the bike was my shorts rubbing the wound. So when I got home I had a lot of blood in my shorts. That totally freaked out the wife, but I was fine. It might have added to the scar a bit.

    My advice, take your meds, take a stool softener (trust me!!!) , and take it easy. Don't rush it.

  10. #10
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    Yes to the stool softner; I haven't had an official movement yet but this morning I had a pellet come out that felt like it was going to be huge! My wife was laughing her ass off! My surgery consisted of repairing a large one right below the belt line and I had another right above the belly button as well Jordo_99. They used mesh on the one below the belt line but my doctor reattached the one above my belly button because it wasn't that bad either but while they were in there he said that they might as well address it. The incision below the belt line doesn't cause me that much pain but the one at my belly button hurts like hell! I guess it's similar to a women getting a c-section?

    Anyway not missing much in the way of training, I wanted to do some cross races this season but as long as I'm ready for road season I'll be fine. Just going nuts already because I'm used to being on the go!!!

  11. #11
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    I was told 6wks off bike and went with that. (About a year and half ago.) Everything worked out fine and by week 8 post-op I was up to ~40m rides. I figured there was no way I was gonna do anything stupid and end up needing the surgery again. To a large extent it's not about whether it's too painful to ride, it's about whether the repair has healed fully.

    Don't push it - the bike and the ride will be there.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  12. #12
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    Best advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    To a large extent it's not about whether it's too painful to ride, it's about whether the repair has healed fully.
    If the doc says take six weeks off, then you take six weeks off.
    GF had hernia operation in April and was supposed to take it easy for six weeks. She didn't, stitches came apart and that is not something you ever want to see. Back into hospital and so messed up the wound wouldn't close. End result was sixteen weeks off work.
    Don't screw everything up just so you can get two more weeks of bike riding in.

  13. #13
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    It really depends on what they did to you. If it was laproscopy it is a much quicker recovery time, but if they went in with the knife and put the mesh in (like in my case), it takes a bit longer. I had a double inguinal hernia operation in the beginning of July, yup, one on each side. I think they were having a 2 for 1 deal that week ;-) Anyway, I was riding easy rides 3 weeks later. Prior to 6 weeks, just stay away from any hills and no standing up in the saddle. After about 6 weeks you'll be riding pretty normal but still not 100%. According to my PT, the soft tissue won't be fully healed and the mesh fully connected for about 6 months. The weird thing about this type of surgery is that you won't necessarily feel it if you rip your stitches, so don't go overboard.

    Good luck with it!

  14. #14
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    orthroscope(is that the term?). Arthroscopic is the correct term, you were close. :-)

    I had a pellet come out -----TMI, please. :-)

    You will know it when you can get back to normal.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinDS View Post

    Arthroscopic is the correct term...
    No, it's not.



    Arthroscopic surgery is surgery within a joint - such as a knee.

    The correct term is endoscopic surgery.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  16. #16
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    Actually it is Laparoscopic surgery, at least that is what my surgeon called it. Google it!!

    Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.51.5 cm) as compared to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy.

  17. #17
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    Hernia's have a really high rate of reoccurance, so pushing it makes no sense unless you want to repeat the drill in a couple years. Plus laproscopy isn't an option for the second go around.

    Fwiw, I had surgery a couple years ago to fix a double sided hernia and do fine today. Occasional pain from the mesh, but really not much of a problem at all.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    No, it's not.



    Arthroscopic surgery is surgery within a joint - such as a knee.

    The correct term is endoscopic surgery.
    Haha, you think I would remember, I sell all the crap, trocars, etc, lap is abd area, arthro is joint area, all are froms of endoscopy. Sorry, tired. :-)
    Last edited by MerlinDS; 11-02-2011 at 08:35 PM.

  19. #19
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    I had surgery for an inguinal hernia (groin) about 2 years ago. The doctor said no exercise beyond walking for 6 weeks - which I followed and had a good recovery. I didn't want to risk not following the doctor's advice, as I didn't want to risk going through the whole thing a second time! I resumed my sports (ramping up at first) with no problems - glad I listened to the doctor.

  20. #20
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    My personal experience suggests that jogging is a better recovery exercise than cycling...after allowing for 6 weeks of basic healing. Jogging (slowly) gets the heart-rate up without really stressing the hernia ...whereas cycling invariably means climbing hills and pushing it...and next thing you know you'll have a recurrence.

    My advice...stay away from cycling for as long as you can...even longer than the 6 weeks. Better to take up jogging if you need a cardio fix.

  21. #21
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    Had the mesh surgery for an inguinal hernia back at the end of August. After 5 weeks doc said I could resume normal activity. I explained to him my definition of normal activity (including two very young kids) and he said fine.
    He explained I would feel a numbness there for a long time. Any of you other guys been told that? Here it is November and I can still feel it a (very) little when I sneeze.
    I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

  22. #22
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    Weasel, I had my surgery in early July. I'm still numb, and it may be a long time before it (if it ever does) go away. According to my PT, the nerves that they cut through there may or may not completely heal back up. He said it just depends on the individual. He said it should get a lot better regardless, but you may or may not have numbness there for a very long time... I still have pain every once in awhile, but not often. Usually when I'm doing something very active and I usually get a little pain then it goes away. That too can take a long time to go away. I hate to keep quoting my PT, but he said it could take about 6 months until all that soft tissue is completely healed.

    Anyway, just sharing. Good luck with it!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiNutIan View Post
    Anyway, just sharing. Good luck with it!
    Excellent, I really appreciate the comforting reply. Was just a little worried. I remember specifically telling my wife in August I was going to get it done because come Fall, there is the risk of hurricanes and leaf clean up and all that jazz. Then wouldn't you know it, the next weekend, we get a hurricane (sort of...Irene) and there is some clean up to do. I am the idiot who sometimes can't take it easy because it needs to get done. I slowly raked and my wife and son put the peaves inthe barrels. Sucked but was good family time. Was just worried I had done damage.
    Thanks again.

    95zPro - (for me) The first two weeks are rough, and then around week three, the recovery came rapdily. When you have a new born and 3 year old, it was very difficult in the beginning to 'just take it easy and not pick anything up'.
    I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel View Post
    Had the mesh surgery for an inguinal hernia back at the end of August. After 5 weeks doc said I could resume normal activity. I explained to him my definition of normal activity (including two very young kids) and he said fine.
    He explained I would feel a numbness there for a long time. Any of you other guys been told that? Here it is November and I can still feel it a (very) little when I sneeze.
    I was told that I might feel the mesh "from time to time" pretty much forever. The mesh doesn't "give" like human tissue does, so it will pull and you'll notice it. (Was explained as "like when you turn-over in bed and pull the covers off your spouse.") Not that it will be painful, but you may/will be aware it's there.

    PS - my doc also said l could resume "normal activity" at 6 weeks. I then explained that "normal" to me involved a 2hr boat ride in 4' seas and then strapping on 150lbs of gear and doing a 2hr dive to 180ft inside WWII shipwrecks. She then said maybe I should wait another few weeks. :-)
    Last edited by RJP Diver; 11-04-2011 at 04:24 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Had double hernia surgery in August (inguinal).
    Doc told me to do very mild excercise at 3 - 4 weeks. Rode litely, no hills. Increased efforts on a weekly basis, not going hard until the first week of October (~ 3 months after).

    Notice the mesh a bit but try to ignore it.

    Pretty much back to normal - the doc encouraged the mild xecercise from the start. Have to believe this helped in recovery.

    In general, all is well.

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