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  1. #1
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    Riding with a hernia.

    Went to the doctor for my checkup, and found out I have a hernia in my right groin area. Right now, it's not causing me any major discomfort. The doctor said I could wait till fall for the surgery and continue riding. Recovery time from the surgery would be 4-5 weeks, so I'd like to wait. Trouble is, now I keep thinking about it while I'm riding. I know enough to not try to lift any heavy trees off the trail. Looking for some insight/advice.

  2. #2
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    Recovery from a typical laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair would be about two weeks for road biking, 4 weeks to start basic singletrack. I've had a left inguinal hernia for about 3 years. It only bothers me occasionally, but not biking. I'll probably get it fixed some day. Or not.

    I'm a laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. Fixing hernias is one of the most common things I do.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    ...I'm a laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. Fixing hernias is one of the most common things I do.
    Could that potentiate fixing your own?
    Do the math.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Recovery from a typical laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair would be about two weeks for road biking, 4 weeks to start basic singletrack. I've had a left inguinal hernia for about 3 years. It only bothers me occasionally, but not biking. I'll probably get it fixed some day. Or not.

    I'm a laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. Fixing hernias is one of the most common things I do.
    Thank you so much. I'll wait.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Could that potentiate fixing your own?
    Yes, but only if I was awake, so, no.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Thank you so much. I'll wait.
    The three reasons to get an inguinal hernia fixed are pain, incarceration, or the fact that it will only get bigger with time, never smaller, (the bigger they are, the harder they are to fix).

    Despite what others will likely tell you here on MTBR, your hernia problem canít be solved with a proper bike fit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    The three reasons to get an inguinal hernia fixed are pain, incarceration, or the fact that it will only get bigger with time, never smaller, (the bigger they are, the harder they are to fix).

    Despite what others will likely tell you here on MTBR, your hernia problem canít be solved with a proper bike fit.
    Incarceration? What will make it get bigger?
    I have an appointment/consultation with the surgeon, to set up a time for the surgery, but it's not for another month.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Incarceration? What will make it get bigger?
    I have an appointment/consultation with the surgeon, to set up a time for the surgery, but it's not for another month.
    Incarceration can lead to strangulation. Very painful, a surgical emergency. Happens less than 1%/year of inguinal hernias.

    Gravity, time, and normal ongoing abdominal straining over years will make it get bigger.

  9. #9
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    rode w/ mine for about 15 years. was riding on the 3rd day after surgery. no big deal
    breezy shade

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Recovery from a typical laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair would be about two weeks for road biking, 4 weeks to start basic singletrack. I've had a left inguinal hernia for about 3 years. It only bothers me occasionally, but not biking. I'll probably get it fixed some day. Or not.

    I'm a laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. Fixing hernias is one of the most common things I do.
    Cuyuna, how is a Spigelian Hernia repaired and what is the outcome for MTB and weightlifting. Judging from my symptoms I have which are word for word for a Spigelian. Have an appt next week with my GP for my yearly physical and to possibly gt a ref for surgery.

    Just curious as everything I have read says its a pretty rare type of hernia so wondering if that ups the complications (both in technique and recovery) and if there are limits after full recover for MTB and weights/working out.

    Thanks
    J-

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjc155 View Post
    Cuyuna, how is a Spigelian Hernia repaired and what is the outcome for MTB and weightlifting. Judging from my symptoms I have which are word for word for a Spigelian. Have an appt next week with my GP for my yearly physical and to possibly gt a ref for surgery.

    Just curious as everything I have read says its a pretty rare type of hernia so wondering if that ups the complications (both in technique and recovery) and if there are limits after full recover for MTB and weights/working out.

    Thanks
    J-
    Itís pretty rare, if thatís what you have. CT scan or ultrasound should tell the story. The repair is generally straightforward. Itís typically done laparoscopically or robotically with mesh reinforcement, day or two in the hospital, normal activities after a few days but with lifting restricted to 25 lbs for about 6 weeks. After that, unrestricted activity would be usual, barring complications.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Itís pretty rare, if thatís what you have. CT scan or ultrasound should tell the story. The repair is generally straightforward. Itís typically done laparoscopically or robotically with mesh reinforcement, day or two in the hospital, normal activities after a few days but with lifting restricted to 25 lbs for about 6 weeks. After that, unrestricted activity would be usual, barring complications.
    Cool thanks for the info I appreciate it.

    J-

  13. #13
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    I had a left-side hernia repair about 3 years ago and was told let pain be my guide. I was riding easy within a week and back to normal in about 2. Just do it.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    Just do it.

    It can go differently. I was off the bike for months and 3 years later it still bothers me a fair amount. Make sure you get a good surgeon.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  15. #15
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    If it is an inguinal hernia, it is the most common type and is due to the male anatomy, according to the surgeon who fixed mine. I discovered that I had one last November 1st and had surgery asap, which was 5 weeks later. It was not too soon. Recovery was recommended to be 6 weeks, but I waited 8 weeks because, you know, winter.

    Get it fixed asap. You don't want it getting worse. So you lose some bike time. There are worse things.

  16. #16
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    I had an internal hernia. It bothered me for 1 week before I hit the floor. Recovery time was 6 weeks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by guido316 View Post
    I had an internal hernia. It bothered me for 1 week before I hit the floor. Recovery time was 6 weeks.
    Repair of an internal hernia usually has a pretty short recovery time....usually just few days. That is, if you actually meant "internal hernia"...

  18. #18
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    Having surgery on 10/3 for an indirect inguinal hernia. Outpatient and Dr said only restriction will be no lifting over 40lbs for 4 weeks. No restrictions on driving, running etc as long as I am feeling like I can do it. I'll be on light duty for work during that time (I am a cop) but luckily have a 95% desk job at this point of my career (patrol Lieutenant).

    Said it will be a tension less mesh repair if I remember correct. Very confidant with him as he has been going this for a long time and have not found anything bad about him in my research. Dr said the procedure itself will be about 1/2 hour.

    J-

  19. #19
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    Yes, I had an internal hernia. I had a gastric bypass surgery 17 months prior and had lost 180 pounds. Despite all the wonderful/positive effects that this surgery has there is a very small chance (1% +/-) of experiencing an internal hernia. Unfortunately I was one. My symptoms ranged from severe abdominal pain, and dry heaves, to just a bit of feeling uncomfortable. After one week my wife insisted I call the Dr's both family and surgical. The next day exactly 7 days after the first symptoms a CT was done and I was admitted to the Hosp and rest is history. When I say 6 weeks I meant back to the usual walking/lifting/biking at the pre surgical level. I figured I'd be back at my usual physical activity level in no time... it just took longer than I expected. Still living the active life Yea !!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by guido316 View Post
    Yes, I had an internal hernia. I had a gastric bypass surgery 17 months prior and had lost 180 pounds. Despite all the wonderful/positive effects that this surgery has there is a very small chance (1% +/-) of experiencing an internal hernia. Unfortunately I was one. My symptoms ranged from severe abdominal pain, and dry heaves, to just a bit of feeling uncomfortable. After one week my wife insisted I call the Dr's both family and surgical. The next day exactly 7 days after the first symptoms a CT was done and I was admitted to the Hosp and rest is history. When I say 6 weeks I meant back to the usual walking/lifting/biking at the pre surgical level. I figured I'd be back at my usual physical activity level in no time... it just took longer than I expected. Still living the active life Yea !!!
    Congratulations on your weight loss success. 180 lbs is an excellent result and takes a lot of hard work. Internal hernia after roux en Y gastric bypass is a relatively uncommon but well-recognized potential complication. It's usually addressed laparoscopically so the recovery is pretty quick if no complications. I've operated on that hernia many times. Glad you recovered well.

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    I have been dealing with one for many years. I had the right side done about 15 years ago, and the left has been there for probably 10, maybe 12. I should have gotten it fixed last winter, but we didn't have the money, so it'll probably be this winter.

    It doesn't cause me any pain or discomfort, its just gotten to the point where its annoying enough to get it taken care of.

    The right side was done open/conventional, not sure what route I will go this time. I will wait to see what the doc says. I know there are plenty of pros and cons to both ways, probably just go with what the doc wants to do.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Squirrel View Post

    The right side was done open/conventional, not sure what route I will go this time. I will wait to see what the doc says. I know there are plenty of pros and cons to both ways, probably just go with what the doc wants to do.
    Either method of repair is good. Recovery is a little quicker and pain is a little less when done laparoscopically, but not all surgeons are good laparoscopic surgeons. In that case, better off open.

  23. #23
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    Thank you.

  24. #24
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    I've got a consult this afternoon for an umbilical hernia. I'm trying to squeeze it in between the end of MTB season and the beginning of ski season, hoping for a quick recovery.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jing View Post
    I've got a consult this afternoon for an umbilical hernia. I'm trying to squeeze it in between the end of MTB season and the beginning of ski season, hoping for a quick recovery.
    Usually depends on how it's done. Open repair is a simple 15 minute outpatient operation, not very painful but maybe 6 weeks off the bike. Laparoscopic repair with mesh is simple, outpatient, even less painful, and 7-10 days off the bike, if that.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Usually depends on how it's done. Open repair is a simple 15 minute outpatient operation, not very painful but maybe 6 weeks off the bike. Laparoscopic repair with mesh is simple, outpatient, even less painful, and 7-10 days off the bike, if that.
    Cuyuna, thanks for answering our questions on this.

    I am having my hernia repaired a couple weeks. I've watched a few videos just to prep myself for what the procedure is like. One thing I am noticing is a lot of the videos I've seen they are going this with local anesthtic instead of general.

    Is this typically the case? Not sure I can be awake during this, even with it being a pretty "easy" and straight forward surgery (have yet to have surgery in 45 years). I had no idea that local was even an option so I didn't even think to ask the surgeon about it or voice my concerns at the time of my initial exam.

    Anyway thanks again,
    J-

  27. #27
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    It's rare that I do open inguinal hernias these days, but I've done a thousand in the course of my career, the vast majority under local anesthesia. I can't speak to your surgeon or anesthesiologist, but it would be extraordinarily rare that sedation with propofol wouldn't be used. In some cases, general anesthesia is used, but more often they would be done under local with propofol sedation or spinal with propofol sedation. I would be astonished if your anesthesiologist had you awake enough to be aware of anything during the procedure. Definitely something you should ask before the operation. It's something that your surgeon should have already clarified for you. If he/she hasn't...that's a bit concerning.

    Virtually all the hernia repairs I do are laparoscopic or robotic-assisted, therefore done under general anesthesia.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    It's rare that I do open inguinal hernias these days, but I've done a thousand in the course of my career, the vast majority under local anesthesia. I can't speak to your surgeon or anesthesiologist, but it would be extraordinarily rare that sedation with propofol wouldn't be used. In some cases, general anesthesia is used, but more often they would be done under local with propofol sedation or spinal with propofol sedation. I would be astonished if your anesthesiologist had you awake enough to be aware of anything during the procedure. Definitely something you should ask before the operation. It's something that your surgeon should have already clarified for you. If he/she hasn't...that's a bit concerning.

    Virtually all the hernia repairs I do are laparoscopic or robotic-assisted, therefore done under general anesthesia.
    Thanks again for the info. I guess i assumes when I read that it was usually done under local that it was like getting a cavity filled. Do the shot and then go to work. Lol. Didnít realize that there would be sedation involved too but that makes sense.
    If thatís the case Iíll have no issues.

    I bet you guys hate google with the shit that we can come up with off of there. Lmaoo.

    Iíll get ahold of my dr to confirm this info and voice my concerns.

    Thanks again
    J-

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    It can go differently. I was off the bike for months and 3 years later it still bothers me a fair amount. Make sure you get a good surgeon.
    wow, that sucks. i was back out hitting the jumps in 3 weeks...


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    wow, that sucks. i was back out hitting the jumps in 3 weeks...
    A laparoscopic repair allows for faster return to those kinds of activities. Main reason for that is the way that the mesh is placed. Laparoscopically, it's placed on the inside of the muscle. If done using the good old open technique (Lichtenstein repair), it's sewn to the outside of the muscle.

    If you were going to patch a hole in a tire on your bike, would you put the patch on the inside of the tire, or the outside?

  31. #31
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    i'm no doctor, nor do i pretend to well versed in different hernia procedures. but it seems like pain 3 years later still does suck regardless of technique used to "repair" it..


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    A laparoscopic repair allows for faster return to those kinds of activities. Main reason for that is the way that the mesh is placed. Laparoscopically, it's placed on the inside of the muscle. If done using the good old open technique (Lichtenstein repair), it's sewn to the outside of the muscle.

    If you were going to patch a hole in a tire on your bike, would you put the patch on the inside of the tire, or the outside?
    My Dr said he puts mesh on the inside and the outside of the hole?

    J-

  33. #33
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    The two biggest risks are ongoing postoperative pain, and recurrence of the hernia. Recurrence rate of a standard Lichtenstein mesh repari (when properly done) is less than 1%. I'm sure you'll be in good hands. Inguinal hernia repair is very possibly the most common operation that your surgeon does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    The two biggest risks are ongoing postoperative pain, and recurrence of the hernia. Recurrence rate of a standard Lichtenstein mesh repari (when properly done) is less than 1%. I'm sure you'll be in good hands. Inguinal hernia repair is very possibly the most common operation that your surgeon does.
    What's the average down time for an open repair? For some reason it intimidates me less than laparoscopic.

    I just realized this is in the 50+ forum..... I must be falling apart faster than expected, I'm in my early 30's.

    Planning on making an appointment this week, still hoping to hold off until late October (Hopefully be OK for Thanksgiving, and to get back into shape for rock climbing in late March, while not ruining early Fall, my favorite time of year). Not overly concerned with being off the bike, but of being inactive in general.

    My daily workout routine will have to be put on hold, of course (push up's, pull up's, planks). My cardio routine varies from walking on a flat smooth path, hiking, indoor trainer, road biking, etc, and is 4+ days a week, not sure how much that will be effected.

    The last 15 months of my life have been a complete turn around.... not looking to offset any of the hard work I've done. (See here if interested Not eating enough?)

    I realize these are all questions to ask my doctor, and I will, just trying to prepare myself.
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  35. #35
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    You'd have to ask your surgeon. There are different opinions on postop restrictions. Personally, I recommend no workout, minimal abdominal straining, and lifting nothing heavier than 30 lbs for 6 weeks after an open repair. Fewer restrictions after laparoscopic or robotic repair.

    As to laparoscopic vs open....that would be between you and your surgeon. Some surgeons aren't trained to do laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    You'd have to ask your surgeon. There are different opinions on postop restrictions. Personally, I recommend no workout, minimal abdominal straining, and lifting nothing heavier than 30 lbs for 6 weeks after an open repair. Fewer restrictions after laparoscopic or robotic repair.

    As to laparoscopic vs open....that would be between you and your surgeon. Some surgeons aren't trained to do laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.
    Thanks.

    I am still shopping for a surgeon, I don't really have a doctor that I go to or anything. I tend to look for someone to fix issues vs having someone look for issues to fix.
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    Had my igunial hernia repaired today. Dr said it was textbook. Canít belive i was so nervous and stressed about this (was my first surgery in 45 years). Remember sliding over to rhe OR bed and then woke up in recovery. Surgery started at 1330 and was home by 1700.

    Feel like i did a boat load of sit-ups but not much pain at all at this point.

    Cuyuna thanks for all the advise and first hand knowledge it helped for sure.

    J-

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjc155 View Post
    Had my igunial hernia repaired today. Dr said it was textbook. Canít belive i was so nervous and stressed about this (was my first surgery in 45 years). Remember sliding over to rhe OR bed and then woke up in recovery. Surgery started at 1330 and was home by 1700.

    Feel like i did a boat load of sit-ups but not much pain at all at this point.

    Cuyuna thanks for all the advise and first hand knowledge it helped for sure.

    J-
    Very pleased that it went well for you.

  39. #39
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    VA fixed mine,
    Inguinal, both sides,
    Robotic surgery,
    10 months ago,
    The three tiny half inch scars seem to be slowly going away,

    Felt like I got kicked in the gut for a couple of days, coughing really sucked the first day. I didn't cough much.

    Funny thing, the pain meds really sucked, Doctor told me to take them till gone,
    a full seven days he said.
    I was hurting but the pills made me feel like death warmed over.
    I stopped taking the things at the end of day three,
    The pain went away as my body flushed the pain meds that day.
    Next day I was pain free,
    go figure.
    On the fire roads, jeep trails after 30 days,
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    I'm having an open umbilical procedure a week from Friday. Any advice as to when I could start easy (no standing) on a spin bike? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jing View Post
    I'm having an open umbilical procedure a week from Friday. Any advice as to when I could start easy (no standing) on a spin bike? Thanks
    That's a question that your surgeon needs to answer. He/she will be better able to sort through the many variables.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jing View Post
    I'm having an open umbilical procedure a week from Friday. Any advice as to when I could start easy (no standing) on a spin bike? Thanks
    Well as a data point, I had an open umbilical repair two weeks ago. At about a week and a half post-op I could walk a mile without starting to feel minor pain, and yesterday I felt comfortable/safe putting a leg over a bike and riding on the street. The first week was worse than I expected... any cough, nose-blowing, bowel effort, etc caused sharp pain, and sitting and laying down were difficult without pain. Day 3 was actually the peak, but after day 6 it got much better very quickly. The nurses said this was all typical for this surgery. I feel good enough now to forget about it at times, but I am definitely staying away from mountain biking for the next 4 weeks.

    On a positive note, this experience really drove home how almost every movement does rely on my core. Once I'm past this recovery I have a new motivation to work on core strength and flexibility, and I can see how helpful that will be for mountain biking

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Well as a data point, I had an open umbilical repair two weeks ago. At about a week and a half post-op I could walk a mile without starting to feel minor pain, and yesterday I felt comfortable/safe putting a leg over a bike and riding on the street. The first week was worse than I expected... any cough, nose-blowing, bowel effort, etc caused sharp pain, and sitting and laying down were difficult without pain. Day 3 was actually the peak, but after day 6 it got much better very quickly. The nurses said this was all typical for this surgery. I feel good enough now to forget about it at times, but I am definitely staying away from mountain biking for the next 4 weeks.
    Great info thanks. I was just hoping to be able to maintain some fitness by doing some easy spinning. I guess I'll talk with my surgeon and see what he says. Sounds like I'll be down a bit longer than I hoped.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jing View Post
    Great info thanks. I was just hoping to be able to maintain some fitness by doing some easy spinning. I guess I'll talk with my surgeon and see what he says. Sounds like I'll be down a bit longer than I hoped.
    You're welcome. I guess that does all sound negative, but on the current trajectory of recovery I fully expect that I will be doing 30-60 min road rides within the next week. Three weeks of taking it easy isn't that much in the big picture. The surgeon was very encouraging about riding and running as soon I felt comfortable. The official restriction was just "don't lift over 25lbs" but I can tell that a lot of other things can put similar strain on the area, and I don't trust myself to take it easy on the trails

  45. #45
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    Thinking more about how I feel, I realized I feel improved enough compared to just yesterday that I am thinking about going for an hour ride tomorrow evening. And I am the type to play it safe with injuries and recovery

  46. #46
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    The risk of damage to the repair from riding is far less than the risk of damage from falling.

    An open umbilical hernia repair rather than tension-free laparoscopically placed mesh repair takes a good 6 weeks to heal sufficiently. Riding and stressing the core without pain isnít the issue. Recurrence of the hernia is.

    Failure of the hernia repair is more likely when done open and just sutured, as opposed to repairing with mesh reinforcement. When that mesh reinforcement is done laparoscopically, post-operative pain is less and recovery is significantly shorter.
    Last edited by Cuyuna; 1 Week Ago at 07:34 AM.

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    At 47 in 2015 got a hernia from deadlifting and riding my bike with my intestines protruding was no fun. I waited 3 months to have the surgery since I had a more urgent surgical procedure first unrelated to the hernia. I didnít ride my bike but got exercise by hiking, after the hernia surgery I was back on my bike in about 3 weeks with no problems.

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    I had a CT scan recently for a suspected kidney stone, and in the notes from the CT scan it said that I had a "Small, fat-containing left inguinal hernia". The doctor said I could have it repaired, or wait and see if it got any worse. I told her I'll just keep drinking beer so that I don't run any risk of the intestines pushing through in place of the fat.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I had a CT scan recently for a suspected kidney stone, and in the notes from the CT scan it said that I had a "Small, fat-containing left inguinal hernia". The doctor said I could have it repaired, or wait and see if it got any worse. I told her I'll just keep drinking beer so that I don't run any risk of the intestines pushing through in place of the fat.
    Fat in the inguinal canal found incidentally on CT does not automatically mean that there is an actual inguinal hernia. Even if it is a hernia, if it was me, I wouldn't necessarily be inclined to get an asymptomatic inguinal hernia repaired.

  50. #50
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    Had my surgery Wednesday. When I first left the hospital I thought this will be a piece of cake. Four hours later I changed my tune. Couldn't sit down and getting into and out of bed was very painful. Today (Friday) I am starting to feel some improvement. After the first day I stopped the pain meds and just went with Tylenol, mainly because I was worried about constipation. The doctor basically said let my body tell me what I can do, but I can't see riding for a while.
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  51. #51
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    Open, laparoscopic, or robotic?

  52. #52
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    Not open. bi-layer repair. laparoscopic.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Not open. bi-layer repair. laparoscopic.
    Hmmm...never heard of that. I don't know how one would do a laparoscopic bi-layer inguinal hernia repair.

  54. #54
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    I may be mistaken how is a bi-layer inguinal hernia repair normally done?
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    I may be mistaken how is a bi-layer inguinal hernia repair normally done?
    usually done open through a small groin incision

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    So great to hear of all the successful hernia repairs and short recovery periods. I wasnít so lucky...

    Went in for a laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair and expected to be back to normal is a month or two. That didnít happen. My surgery resulted in hydrocele testis and the pain was way worse than the original hernia. The surgeon said ďthat happens some timesĒ and we have to wait to see if it reduces on itsí own. If it doesnít go away, he said a second surgery will be required. He stated we have to wait a full year before going back in. He also said he doesnít do follow up surgeries, but will help me locate a surgeon if needed.

    Well, it didnít go away and I was in worse pain for over a year than the original hernia; resulting in a couch potato lifestyle during that wait. Once the wait was over, I contacted the original surgeon to get this surgery caused problem corrected, but he wouldnít even respond and never helped me locate a corrective surgeon.

    Any idea why a surgeon would act like that? Was he afraid of being sued? Iím at a loss and had to go it alone to find relief.

    I ended up writing a letter to UCI Urology here in Orange County CA and they set me up with a qualified surgeon. Thankfully the second surgery to correct what was for me a worse problem than the original hernia went well. Today Iím back to normal.

    This is how and why I returned to cycling after a twenty year hiatus. That year plus of a painful couch potato lifestyle turned me into a human potato.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    usually done open through a small groin incision
    Thanks for explaining that. My surgeon gave me a brochure and explained the changes made over the years, and I guess I just assumed it was laparoscopic or robotic. I was confusing what he called traditional surgery with open surgery. I have one incision about 2.5 inches long. Anyway, I feel much better today (day 3). I was able to put shoes and socks on this morning. Hope to go to work Monday.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiptastic View Post
    So great to hear of all the successful hernia repairs and short recovery periods. I wasnít so lucky...

    Went in for a laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair and expected to be back to normal is a month or two. That didnít happen. My surgery resulted in hydrocele testis and the pain was way worse than the original hernia. The surgeon said ďthat happens some timesĒ and we have to wait to see if it reduces on itsí own. If it doesnít go away, he said a second surgery will be required. He stated we have to wait a full year before going back in. He also said he doesnít do follow up surgeries, but will help me locate a surgeon if needed.

    Well, it didnít go away and I was in worse pain for over a year than the original hernia; resulting in a couch potato lifestyle during that wait. Once the wait was over, I contacted the original surgeon to get this surgery caused problem corrected, but he wouldnít even respond and never helped me locate a corrective surgeon.

    Any idea why a surgeon would act like that? Was he afraid of being sued? Iím at a loss and had to go it alone to find relief.

    I ended up writing a letter to UCI Urology here in Orange County CA and they set me up with a qualified surgeon. Thankfully the second surgery to correct what was for me a worse problem than the original hernia went well. Today Iím back to normal.

    This is how and why I returned to cycling after a twenty year hiatus. That year plus of a painful couch potato lifestyle turned me into a human potato.
    Sorry that went bad for you, and especially sorry that your surgeon turned out to be an unprofessional dick.

    Hydroceles can happen with some inguinal hernias when the surgeon fails to completely resect the hernia sac. This is somewhat more likely with a laparoscopic hernia repair than an open one. I don't know why he would have wanted to wait. Usually a hydrocele would be repaired by approaching it from the scrotum and that repair is pretty straightforward.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Thanks for explaining that. My surgeon gave me a brochure and explained the changes made over the years, and I guess I just assumed it was laparoscopic or robotic. I was confusing what he called traditional surgery with open surgery. I have one incision about 2.5 inches long. Anyway, I feel much better today (day 3). I was able to put shoes and socks on this morning. Hope to go to work Monday.
    "Traditional" hernia surgery is open. The debate rages in Surgery circles about the relative merits of open vs laparoscopic. The recurrence rates are similar, and open can be done under local anesthesia with sedation. The recovery is much quicker with less overall pain, and lower risk of nerve injury pain or numbness when done laparoscopically. Many surgeons don't want to do it that way because it's hard and/or because it generally costs more.

    Nothing wrong with open other than the increased amount of pain and longer recovery.

  60. #60
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    Wow! Popular thing to have it seems! I had a right inguinal mesh repair in March 2012. I was having a whole lotta real bad discomfort for a while before finally getting an ultrasound done and being diagnosed. Mine was done traditionally by a locally very well known General Surgeon who practices with together his brother. They're a prominent family that had been in our small rural coastal town for many generations. Good people. "Oh, You want Dr. XYZ" they said. "It'll be GREAT" they all said. "You'll be on your feet in no time" they all said. I put my faith in the recommendation and I'm not so sure that laparoscopic was even an option in our local area at the time. It didn't pop up when I did a bit of homework so I went with the strong recommendation.

    It was outpatient and I recall feeling pretty good the first night but as I recall, my instruction were not to lift anything more than a cup of coffee for a week or so, then introduce 5#, then 10# and so on over a period of weeks. The next day, I could barely get myself out of bed to take a leak it hurt so incredibly bad. I couldn't stand up straight because when I tried, the only way I can explain what I felt was a there was string internally stitched to my right testicle and standing was like pulling a ripcord connected to that testicle. Excruciating! A year later, I went through a 2 level neck fusion after losing my ability to walk and work my legs due to severe stenosis and just had an L4/L5 Laminectomy last November after nearly a decade of low back issues. I have NEVER felt pain like I did after that hernia repair and STILL haven't. I called the Doc on day 2 since my issue was not subsiding and so debilitating. He told me on the phone to just keep stretching, it'll go away. After a week, I had a follow up but saw the brother who assured me he was part of the team in my surgery so he was very familiar. My pain was becoming somewhat intermittent by then so it got blown off as part of the deal. It would come and go and when I went back again to seek help a couple a few weeks later, it wasn't flaring at the moment so again, I got blown off. Keep in mind, getting an appt with these guys takes an act of f'g congress. They're stupid-busy. I suffered with this intermittent but pretty much daily shit for couple months and couldn't get in to see them so I sought a second opinion from another local General Surgeon who I got into quickly. When I explained my plight and said who had done the work, she suddenly just clammed up, suggested I go back to the surgeon, and rather abruptly terminated our visit as if she had no more time for me. It was pretty odd to me at the time.

    I finally just conceded as the intervals increased but the pain, when it did flare, was really bad. I carried that for what amounted to way over a year as I remember still occasionally suffering long after my very successful neck surgery. Today, it's a non-issue, thank God! Cuyuna, wondering if you might have a bit of insight as to what might have been going on in my case?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Cuyuna, wondering if you might have a bit of insight as to what might have been going on in my case?
    My guess would be entrapment of one of the sensory nerves, likely either the ilioinguinal or iliohypogastric, postop inflammation and then scar tissue.

  62. #62
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    Just wanted to add, that in the literature my doctor gave me, when they speak of "traditional surgery/repair" they are referring to the very old school 1970-1980 non mesh surgery.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Just wanted to add, that in the literature my doctor gave me, when they speak of "traditional surgery/repair" they are referring to the very old school 1970-1980 non mesh surgery.
    Hard to imagine any competent surgeon these days fixing an inguinal hernia that way. You had an open hernia repair, I presume he used mesh of some kind...I hope your recovery continues to go well.

  64. #64
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    I've heard that mesh can get tangled up with muscle/fat/organs (? forgive my laymen ignorance) and cause issues. Mine is still bothersome several years after the surgery. I saw another doc about it and after a 30 second check-up he suggested more mesh, which I politely declined.

    Just wondering is mesh is still considered the best repair.
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  65. #65
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    Next one, I'm opting for rebar and chicken wire combination. No doubt it will be more comfortable than my previous.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Cuyuna. I never did any "potentials" on what my symptoms might have been from any of the docs at the time. I'm just glad that has passed.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I've heard that mesh can get tangled up with muscle/fat/organs (? forgive my laymen ignorance) and cause issues. Mine is still bothersome several years after the surgery. I saw another doc about it and after a 30 second check-up he suggested more mesh, which I politely declined.

    Just wondering is mesh is still considered the best repair.
    Yes, tension-free mesh repair for most types of hernias, inguinal and otherwise, is the current standard of care. Mesh materials, configurations, and placement techniques have been evolving substantially over the last couple of decades. Some of the older meshes do have a tendency to ball up and/or migrate. In those circumstances the best approach is removing the old mesh and re-repairing the hernia (with mesh).

    Accurate placement of the mesh is an important component of a pain-free, durable hernia repair. It's much easier to do that accurately with a laparoscopic approach, and even more precision is possible with the robot, especially important in a case like yours where you are getting pain from a badly-placed or migrated piece of mesh. Using the robot is the only way that I would do that operation these days.

  67. #67
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    Kind of wish I'd read this thread about 4 years ago. People put a lot of trust in doctors and it isn't always warranted.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Kind of wish I'd read this thread about 4 years ago. People put a lot of trust in doctors and it isn't always warranted.
    Even the best of people in most professions will let you down every now and then. Nothing is 100% in medicine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Sorry that went bad for you, and especially sorry that your surgeon turned out to be an unprofessional dick.
    You hit the nail on the head with that statement. O-bummer-care took my doctor choice away.

    Next week I see a specialist for a different issue. It took them 4 months to process the referral and the reviews Iíve read about this doctor leave little to be desired. Should be interesting...

    Had a back/sciatic nerve issue come up a few months ago that I know a chiropractor can normally resolve in one visit. My past chiropractor retired years ago and he wouldnít have been on my insurance list anyway. Took 3-4 weeks to get that referral (while in pain). The quack-o-practor they sent me to screwed with me for another month without relief.

    I got so fed up and knew it would take way too much time and effort to get a second referral that I just went to a known to friends good chiropractor and paid for it myself out-of-pocket. Relief after one visit and complete resolution after the second.

    Donít want to take this thread into a healthcare free-for-all bitch session, but IMHO what we have now is a larger insured populous and less actual care; clearly without the promised doctor choice. Itís an insurance company profit bonanza!

    When getting doctor care of any kind, doctor choice should be a patient right and speed of care in relation to the need accessible. The problem Iíve encountered is the good doctors wonít take the insurance Iím forced into.

    If considering hernia surgery chose your surgeon wisely.
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiptastic View Post
    .....
    When getting doctor care of any kind, doctor choice should be a patient right and speed of care in relation to the need accessible. The problem Iíve encountered is the good doctors wonít take the insurance Iím forced into.

    If considering hernia surgery chose your surgeon wisely.
    1. Cheap/free medical care
    2. Convenient/accessible medical care
    3. High quality/state-of-the-art medical care


    You can have any two of the three.

  71. #71
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    So true. And the Golden Rule applies to everything.

    ďHe who has the gold rules.Ē

    Glad I have a pot of gold to tap when needed. I wonít ever rush into a surgery again just because itís paid for by insurance. I will research the need to confirm what Iím being told and the surgeons record in even finer detail. Everyone has to take their healthcare into their own hands these days. To many accountants and dare I say ďquackĒ doctors out there.

    Oh the stories I could tell... And donít get me started on the Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiptastic View Post
    So true. And the Golden Rule applies to everything.

    ďHe who has the gold rules.Ē

    Glad I have a pot of gold to tap when needed. I wonít ever rush into a surgery again just because itís paid for by insurance. I will research the need to confirm what Iím being told and the surgeons record in even finer detail. Everyone has to take their healthcare into their own hands these days. To many accountants and dare I say ďquackĒ doctors out there.

    Oh the stories I could tell... And donít get me started on the Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
    Even with the best insurance your wait to get an appointment with most specialists is likely to be weeks or months. As to picking your doctor...you can have that too but the insurance plan that allows that won't be as cheap as what you now have.
    Last edited by Cuyuna; 3 Days Ago at 08:55 AM.

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    Bilbo56, did you make it to work on Monday? How are you feeling now? Friday is my big day.

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    Yes I made it, much to my wife's displeasure. I could have taken off more time, but it's not like you can catch up on any projects around the house or anything. I was going stir crazy. Today is one week since the surgery. I'm moving around pretty well, but still not walking completely normal. I'm tired at the end of the day. There is no pain at all when I'm still. Coughing still hurts a lot. Good luck Friday Jing.
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    I'm worried about that stir crazy part too. I was hoping for a cold and wet Fall but so far our weather is perfect and I know I'm going to be pissed that I'm not out riding.

    I have a 30min drive to work, do you suppose that will suck two times a day?

    Thanks for the info, its good to hear in from a recent source. Hope you continue to do well.

  76. #76
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    My commute is an hour each way, and it hasn't bothered me. Also, after the second day I stop taking the pain medication they gave me (Tramadol) and just went with Tylenol. I'm going on a trip to South Dakota at the end of the month, and after my check up on November 12th, plan (hopefully) to start riding again. I'm 62 and was in reasonably good shape before the surgery.
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  77. #77
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    I had two hernias ten years apart in the exact same location. The second one I was having sex the day after surgery. Well she was, I was just there for the event. Luckily the stitches werenít effected. So, Iím thinking riding shortly after you should be fine.
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    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  78. #78
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    They're cute in an odd way, but fast and aggressive. Just be careful riding with them.

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