Recovery time - hernia surgery

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Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby Fletcher » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:03 pm

Hi all. First post in quite a while, I've been busy riding I guess. Four days ago I had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia and I'm under strict instructions from surgical types to take it really easy for four weeks, then ease back into riding over the following fortnight. Given I normally ride 40-50km a day, four weeks seems a depressing amount of time to be off the bike, especially considering my medical certificate expires this coming thursday. I'm feeling better by the day and I'm aiming for a gentle ride next weekend. That's two weeks earlier than the registrar recommended, but I believe it's achievable. I've spoken to a couple of other very active guys who had the same surgery, and listened to their experiences. Cycling isn't particularly strenuous on the muscles in the groin unless you're honking it out of the saddle, which I'm not planning on doing any time soon. My first rides will be gentle. No big hills, sprints or efforts out of the saddle. Anyhow, that's a week away. I'll find the end of the internet before then, I'm sure.
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by BNA » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:07 pm

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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby Bob_TAS » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:07 pm

Several years ago I had a bilateral inguinal mesh hernioplasty and was told no vigorous exercise for six weeks.

After my experience in not taking it easy per advice, I would suggest taking heed of what they say.

Heck, I'd even be toning it down when you're back in the saddle for a while to avoid any longer term discomfort.
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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:07 pm

I've had two. One when I wasn't cycling, open surgery, was told 6 weeks with no exercise. The second was when I was cycling, endoscopic surgery, I was told 10 days. I swapped my cassette and RDR to MTB ones (on my roadie) to make sure I didn't strain myself.

Listen to your doctor, but make sure they know you're a cyclist and you want to ride soon. See what they say. There's always the trainer for gentle efforts.
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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby ValleyForge » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:02 pm

There is no scientific evidence that backs up the "6 week" rule for inguinal hernia repairs.

In general terms, a laparoscopic repair will have you cycling in about 7 days, and to training level within 2 weeks. Open surgery is a fair bit slower, with about 3 weeks before a social ride is comfortable.

I do know a tri-athlete that took 48hrs off training after a bilateral laparoscopic repair.....
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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:39 pm

ValleyForge wrote:There is no scientific evidence that backs up the "6 week" rule for inguinal hernia repairs.

In general terms, a laparoscopic repair will have you cycling in about 7 days, and to training level within 2 weeks. Open surgery is a fair bit slower, with about 3 weeks before a social ride is comfortable.

I do know a tri-athlete that took 48hrs off training after a bilateral laparoscopic repair.....


Yeah, it depends on the technique used and the fitness of the patient. For my first one, I asked about the magic fast healing mesh repair but was told (a) the hernia was too long for it to be effective and (b) even if the hernia was small enough, I wasn't. Fast forward a few years and I was small enough for the laproscopic and recovered very quickly due to being a lot fitter than I was.

As I said before, talk to your surgeon and, wherever possible, get one that understands active people/athletes.
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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby Fletcher » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:48 am

Thks for the feedback. I had an open mesh repair, hence the longer recovery time. I did let the doctors know I'm a keen cyclist and wanted to return to my normal routine asap but they didn't budge, the response was "well you're just gonna have to take a break". It seems to be healing quite well, and I will go for a very gentle ride this weekend. I'm returning to work on Monday, but very much doubt I'll be returning to my daily 40-50km commute this week.
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Re: Recovery time - hernia surgery

Postby landscapecadmonkey » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:12 am

I had hernia surgery about 6 years ago, and the silliest decision i have ever made as an uninsured public patient was not to pop for a private hospital laparoscopic type (it was an option privately, but not as a public patient on a 12mth waiting list) but instead went the public cattle yard slice and dice route. I was off work for 5 weeks..5 genuine weeks. I rode gingerly after about 4 and back to (ahem) 'relations' VERY gingerly after about the same time. Lifting was more like 3mths, with nothing over 10kilos for what seemed like an eternity. I dont know the medical nuances or vagaries between the mesh, laparoscopic etc, but i was given the chance of opting (but paying) but didn't consider the consequences of the different recovery times near as much as i should have.
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