This should prob be in the fitness forum...
This is my first post here and I was wondering if anyone has had or knows of anyone who has had full abdominoplasty surgery. I had an umbilical hernia and what I thought was going to be fairly simple hernia surgery turned out to be a big deal. I talked to three doctors and got the same diagnosis from each. I had bad diastasis recti and that had to be fixed or the hernia repair would never hold especially if I wanted to be active and lift weights again. So I just had surgery for abdominal reconstruction and umbilical hernia repair. I’m only two weeks post surgery and I still feel like crap but I’m getting better every day. I know I’m getting way ahead of myself, still have a long recovery, but I’m already extremely motivated to get myself back in shape. As of now I’m doing as much walking as I can though it’s not much at this point. So my questions are regarding recovery time and any restrictions in the future.
How long to start at least very light lifting and how long until being back at full speed going heavy?
Any problems with heavy squats and deadlifts?
What about ab exercises? I’m guessing plank variations would be fine but what about other ab exercises?
One exercise that always gave me great results was dumbbell pullovers but that one scares me now because of the abdominal stretch you can get from it.
Of course I will be talking with my surgeon but if anyone has any experience with this and has any feedback I’d really appreciate it.
Last edited by Max99; 02-04-2013 at 11:59 AM.
This should prob be in the fitness forum...
“I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, "My God! I love everything." Yeah, now if that isn't a hazard to our country..."
― Bill Hicks
"Sometimes eating the wrong food with the right attitude is a better choice than eating the right food with the wrong attitude... That’s how powerful the mind and the heart can be in the healing process."
- Chris Kresser
I think its better to wait till you get an answer from your surgeon.
But I am having this surgery down the track, and I think it was a fair while that you had to be off heavy exercise afterwards.
Yup.... ask your surgeon..... but don't be surprised if they say 6 months or so.....
I had one almost 6 weeks ago for virtually the same thing, although my hernia wasn't umbilical. It's really big surgery. Definitely talk to your surgeon. Mine told me absolutely nothing for at least a month. I did go to the gym just to do some very, very light walking on the treadmill at about 3 weeks (in other words, 3mph and holding onto the bar), but that really wiped me out. I've only started feeling all that much better after exerting myself a little this week, between 5 and 6 weeks post-op. By that I mean I've stopped losing all the color in my face and lips after walking. And I'm still swollen and I still have pain. I was also very fit before, and definitely into heavy lifting.
The surgeon told me that it takes at least 6 weeks for the scar to be strong enough to even think of doing anything with weight. He included things like carrying groceries. I'd ask your surgeon about exercises and possibly even consult a physical therapist about a routine to get back into things. I'm going back to the gym for a light workout when I hit 6 weeks, and I'm not even thinking of using much weight. I'm talking just about unweighted or light dumbbell squats and lunges, some arms, nothing that really targets the core, which he recommended I wait 8 weeks at least to do. I also still get pain when I twist or tweak too much, so I want to be careful. The last thing I want is another surgery. My scar is big enough as it is.
Thanks, that’s good to know. Even walking short distances right now really wears me out. I will definitely be talking with my surgeon, I have another follow up appointment on Monday, but I thought it would be good to also hear from people who have actually been through something like this. I used to do a lot of heavy powerlifting. I want get back into relatively heavy squats and deadlifts again but I won’t be doing the crazy weights I used to do. All this make me realize how people take things for granted and how I could have possibly prevented my injuries even with the heavy powerlifting with better core strengthening and mobility training. But you just don’t think of that when you’re younger. I know I’m getting way ahead of myself but I’m just eager to get back in shape.
Those first few weeks were really difficult. I don't know what your situation is in terms of work or the like, but if you have to go back to work soon you might want to avoid doing much of anything else because of how draining it will be. I'm in academia, so I was fortunate enough to have 4 full weeks of total down time right after, and I can work from home a lot. Otherwise I really don't know how people do it if they have to go back earlier! I actually thought I'd get work done starting a few days later, but the anesthesia just SHOT my short term memory for the first two weeks or so. I had no idea what I was getting into.
But while I am still not what I was, and I now own a lot of sweater dresses bought on clearance from Old Navy because my jeans still don't fit (grumble grumble), how I feel now vs. 2 weeks after is night and day. I just want to really reassure you, because I was starting to get kind of upset/worried at the 2 week mark. Just well enough to get bored. Not well enough to really do much. And starting to worry about swelling sticking around and the scar and the like. It does get better, and the change in my energy levels after the 1 month mark was pretty good. I'm almost at the 6 week mark now and each week has been a very nice improvement. I think 2 weeks was probably the hardest to deal with in terms of everything, so seriously, hang in there! Oh, and I found ibuprofen to be especially good at this point. It is a very good pain reliever and helps some with the swelling. I've also tried to focus on protein. That wasn't hard, I was doing my usual and kept showing up and looking faint at the surgeon's office. They'd threaten me with juice boxes. So I started eating meat for breakfast (don't usually eat breakfast) and that solved the problem. Vitamin C and zinc are also good for healing. Right after surgery I CRAVED strawberries and citrus fruits like you wouldn't believe, so I just ate that. But I have been supplementing with zinc. The fillers are probably not technically primal, but I've found that the easiest thing for me is just to take a few of the cold-eeze type lozenges per day spaced out, and at this point I'm not too worried about 3 lozenges a day. Protein, C and zinc seem to be the big 3 in terms of surgical and wound healing.
But I do want to get back to the gym, I totally know where you're coming from. I did light weights and lots of conditioning type stuff for years, but really got into heavy lifting about 6 months ago, and was just at dead lifting my body weight and near other goals like a pull up when I had to have this. I want to get back to it and have had to talk myself into being ok going back soon and doing basically a fraction of what I did before the surgery, even a fraction of what I did before I figured out efficient heavy lifting. Basically, I discovered the dead lift 6 months ago and fell in love! But I'll get back. And you should too, eventually. Surgical repairs can be really strong, but it sounds like your heavy lifting and mine are on totally different levels. So for you talking to some people with experience in the matter would probably be a good idea just to know what the parameters are and how you can go back to such weights safely.
Good luck on your recovery!
Hernia Surgery is not major Surgery, but you had better according to the doctor's plan to exercise. Do you think so?
I had an abdominoplasty done at the same time they repaired a hernia from a gallbladder removal. It took me months to recover from it, but I can do squats fine now. I'd say it took almost a year to really fully recover. There's a LOT of tissue damage to recover from. I way under estimated how much time I would need to take off from work, assuming I could go back the week after the surgery. I ended up having to work from home for a couple of weeks and not do anything too strenuous for a few months. It definitely got rid of a lot of loose skin but I would caution that at least in my personal experience it's pretty damn painful and will effect what you can do for a while. I have some pictures on my profile of before and after the surgery. You can still see a scar now but it's not nearly as noticeable, but it's a big scar.
Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.