Hernias, Operations, Cycling, Recovery

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Hernias, Operations, Cycling, Recovery

Postby Graham » 28 Jan 2014, 11:25am

Here is the rebuild of a couple of hernia topics that I managed to delete !! Sorry about the incompetence. :oops:

chrisdownes » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:18 pm wrote:Help please.
I am having a bi lateral hernie operation on MOnday the 18th Januaury, and can anyone let me know how long it will before I can get back on the bike to do some touring.
I would like to be cycling again by at least the end of March, or I should go mad with being a couch potatoe.
Hopfully I want to cycle about 30 to 40 miles a day doing some touring of Dorset and Hampshire for about a week.
Any suggestions very greatly recieved,

flat tyre » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 pm wrote:The British Hernia Centre (!) http://www.hernia.org/ claims that patients are able to walk or go on an exercise bike within 45 mins of the operation, if you are having keyhole surgery. Quite how this translates to riding a bike on the road I'm not sure. Unfortunately I can't answer from experience as my hernia operation is scheduled for 25th Jan, so obviously I would be very interested to hear about your subsequent experience.

Quaker Mike » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:39 pm wrote:I was on my bike next day after a right side non-keyhole hernia op. But not for long, because any bumps (potholes, manholes etc.) dragged painfully on the wound. Two weeks later, IIRC, this wore off, and I had no problems thereafter, except that for some years if I went into deep tuck on the drops I could occasionally feel the edge of the reinforcing mesh dig in as my right leg came up to top position. That was fifteen years ago, so they probably use different techniques now.

PS I had it done with a local anaesthetic, and it was interesting to watch

pioneer » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:29 pm wrote:I had a hernia op' (not keyhole and not mesh either because of complications) April,two years ago. Was advised to re-cuperate the old fashioned way,i.e. lots of rest and take plenty of time before attempting anything physical. was able to take short walks after about four days and long walks with the dog after a couple of weeks. Though these were slow walks, I was able to gently amble along for up to about seven miles.

Stayed off the bike for three weeks(should have been eight weeks according to the doc'),but eased back into it gently.This was the best thing.Rest coupled with and easy-exercise and if it starts to hurt,stop! If you are fit to start with (and most cyclists are fitter than thier peers on average),recovery time will be quicker anyway.

And there's always a bright side.When I was recovering,the snooker world championship was on. I managed to watch all of it, fantastic!
And the weather was great too. Lots of sitting in the garden catching up on reading. That made being off the bike easier to bear!!

bodach » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:33 pm wrote:Bellybutton hernia with mesh reinforcement took about 6 weeks before being reasonably confident of anything strenuous.Surgeon said a couple of weeks but transpired he meant gentle street cycling and not mountain biking as I envisaged. My GP was horrified when he discovered I had started in his mind too soon. Your body will tell you when it feels ready for reasonable excercise.

I should add that the op itself was a doddle and I was up walking around the same day with no problem.It was just unusual and sudden movement that had to be avoided.

tali42 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:05 am wrote:I had a hernie op in 2004, non-keyhole with the mesh. Stayed off the bike for the time recommended by the surgeon. When I started again, riding to work, I came down with pain in the area, so stopped for another few weeks. When I started again, no problems.

fausto copy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:34 pm wrote:I had an epigastric hernia repair last year. Wound approx 4 inches long above navel with mesh (kevlar puncture proof actually :wink: ).
I did a couple of half hour rides on the rollers after 2 weeks. Resumed gentle road riding after 4 weeks (15 to 20 miles) and after 6 weeks I was on tour doing 40 mile days.
Just take it nice and easy. Your body will tell you how much to do (or not).
And good luck!

chrisdownes » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:40 am wrote:Twodays after the hernie operation, with two 4 inch cuts which are very sore,but I am able to walk slowly around and sit at the computer desk to type this message.
As I have been informed, wait at least 6 to 8 weeks before tryng to cycle, and if it hurts dont do it.
The doctor may give you guidence on how long it takes to recover, but everyone has different recovery times.
I feel great now it is all done, just roll on summer to those barmy lovely days of sunshine, quite lanes. birds singing, green leaves and nice slow cycle touring days.... Bliss....
Thankyou for everyones comments and help and good cycling in 2010.
Chris Downes

hellymedic » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:34 pm wrote:The 'standard advice' is six weeks. Many posters above have done differently.
A skin wound has little tensile strength (resistance to tearing) for a fortnight and I think it's tempting fate to do anything before that. Internally, thing take longer to heal and if they don't heal properly, you could end up with a recurrent hernia, which is the last thing you need!
Boring as it is, I would not rush to get back on the bike; there are many other activities you can do.
Take the advice of your doctors, get well soon and enjoy the winter/early spring from another point of view.
Once you are properly well, it does not take very long to regain fitness.

chrisdownes » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:22 pm wrote:Four weeks aftera bi lateral hernie operation, and I am still in pain just above the male reproductive bits, very sore.Still resisting to get on the bike, but had 10 minutes on indoor bike at no resistance. A bit cheesed off with it at the moment, and taking pain killers all the days. Only exercise is using my fingers on the computer keyboard and not moving too much on the chair.
Hope things will improve before long, but will give it another two weeks, if no different will see what doc says,
Anyone have any advice, do not want to miss out the Spring and Summer on the bike.
Thanks for any help or advice. Chris Downes

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Re: Hernia topics rebuild

Postby Graham » 28 Jan 2014, 11:35am

flat tyre » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:01 pm wrote:Fortunately my experience has been somewhat better. I had a triple hernia repair by keyhole surgery on 25th Jan, this involved a general anaesthetic and left a couple of minute scars. By 31 Jan I was able to manage a 4 mile walk over the hills. I went out for a bike ride on 7th Feb, less than 2 weeks after the op, not that far admittedly, about 12 miles but with one or two hills included. Since then I am slowly rebuilding my fitness.

StirlingCrispin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:07 pm wrote:I had a open bilateral inguinal hernia repair last mid-June.

Post-op my surgeon said I could ride gently to work after two and a bit weeks - if only for the reason that I had no other way of getting to the office.
I was told to take it gently and to stop if it hurt - I pushed up the hill for the first few days.
**Edit - I used a Brompton for the first week to reduce the need to lift my leg over the cross bar**

After three and a half weeks I went for a spin on my road bike. In hindsight I did too much - 30 hills with an 800ft climb. I got half-way and ached like hell but had no choice but to carry on to get home. I started MTBing after 6 weeks and had no problem with this other than a loss of mojo and pain if I slammed my saddle into the scars. Ouch!

I found the best way to recover was to do some gentle exercise and then rest for a couple of hours before doing a bit more. I slept a lot too!
Chatting a while later to a friend who's a physio and cyclist he reckoned I'd got the recovery process spot on - gentle exercise stops lesions from forming, which is a big risk and causes a lot of pain.

At the end of August I set off on a hilly 6-day cycle tour of Northumbria. I aimed at 40-60 miles a day which caused no problems. Lack of strength and stamina was a bigger problem than hernia pain. Normally I'd aim at 60-80 miles a day but that would have been too much having lost three months of hard cycling (by my standards).

Oh - and riding a fixie ached for several months post-op, but again I think it may have been helping the recovery process.

Hope this helps - good luck with your recovery!

chrisdownes » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:50 pm wrote:8 weeks to the day after the bi lateral hernie and went for a 6 mile cycle ride onto the Peak District.Had pains like a stitch on some small climbs at the start so walked some of the steeper hills. Returned same way but down hill and just free wheeled most of it.
When home found I did not hurt as much as when I had not been out, but took two paracetomol tablets just in case.
Feel better for the exercise and enjoyed the bike ride and the spring sunny weather at last. Will leave it for a day or two then have another go see how it goes.
Chris Downes.

chrisdownes » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:54 pm wrote:12 weeks since the operation on the two hernie repair and now completed a 40 mile trip on the bike which was alright whilst on the bike(wearing bib tights for support)but found when I was home again it felt sore arround the groin areas.
Consulted my doc. who said it may well be sore, but no damage can be done, just take the pain killers after any excertion. Found this to work, and now pleased to be able to get out cycling again, still cautious of hills and pushing too hard on the pedals.
Feel great and pleased to be over the worse.
End of story. Hope it helps other cyclist who suffer from hernie problems in the future.

DavidT » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:32 pm wrote:I thought I would update this thread, with my own recent experience. At the end of March I had an open surgery repair to an inguinal hernia. I was signed off work for 3 weeks, then to return with the need to avoid heavy lifting for another 4-6 weeks (not really a problem in my job).

Regarding cycling, my GP knows how much I enjoy cycling (and that the village in which I live is pretty flat) and having discussed my situation with her, she advised that after 3 weeks I could have a gentle potter around the village on the bike. However she banned me from anything more significant, for example undertaking the then upcoming BHF Vale of Belvoir Bike Ride, that I do every year. This was 6 weeks from operation. Apparently, with the hills, distance (25 or 40 miles) and inevitable peer pressure it would be too early to participate without risking the repair.

I started cycling again in earnest from early June. I therefore had about 10 weeks off the bike with respect to my “normal” cycling.

Of course, every individual may be a bit different, and in my case I have a heart complaint which means I have to put a bit of effort in on a hill before others might – although as an aside I would stress my Cardiologists love me cycling!

I hope this is useful for anyone going through the same operation, as this thread was to me a few weeks ago.

Happy cycling

MattyDeez » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:56 pm wrote:Some good advice, especially yours DavidT as i have the same hernia, waiting for the operation which should be this month.

Difficult for me as i do moderate to heavy lifting every day at work, i work in a Warehouse with metal. Sheets and extrusions.

So therefore it's going to be a long recovery period for me, hopefully with my youth on my side it will be quicker!

HenryCrun » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:24 am wrote:I hope this may be of help to a few "sufferers"?

Perhaps a little different from the "regular" type of hernia, I had, last December, a colostomy to relieve the symptoms of inoperable colorectal cancer (a tumour in the lower rectum). There is apparently a 20% chance that the stoma created by the colostomy will prolapse and become herniated, something I was not told before the op but happened unexpectedly and really quite distressingly at the time.

In the event it is not a major problem but can't be corrected by further surgery. So could I ride? The answer was a reassuring yes, especially with the added assistance of a corset or girdle, effectively a broad elasticated belt fastened with velcro and very supportive! So now I am at the early stages of working towards renewed fitness and hopefully next year a "cancer awareness" tour from St Davids Head, West Wales, to Ness Point, Lowestoft.

This might be a good time to say that anyone who wants to tag along for a few miles here and there will be most welcome! Full details at a later date!

MickTheCyclist » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:10 pm wrote:
MattyDeez wrote:Some good advice, especially yours DavidT as i have the same hernia, waiting for the operation which should be this month.
Difficult for me as i do moderate to heavy lifting every day at work, i work in a Warehouse with metal. Sheets and extrusions.
So therefore it's going to be a long recovery period for me, hopefully with my youth on my side it will be quicker!

There seems to be quite a range of experiences so its hard to know what to expect. I think just wait and see how you feel afterwards and stick to the medical advice. In my case I had an open hernia repair Feb 2011. The surgeon said I could cycle as soon as I felt able so I went for a short (1 mile) test ride 2 days after the operation. Felt ok but decided to wait a few more days. Seven days after the operation I did a 25 mile trip and back to normal cycling from then on. Hope it all goes well with yours.

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Re: Hernia topics rebuild

Postby Graham » 28 Jan 2014, 11:45am

mattsccm » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:53 am wrote:About exactly a week ago now I woke up from a unexpected umbilical hernia opp plus trapped bowel etc. Up until yesterday I felt lousy but I already itching to get out on the bike.Lots of new toys doesn't help.
Any practical experiences?
Not going to push my luck but equally not going to waste time especially as cycling keeps my knees and back working.

MattyDeez » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:03 am wrote:I had a left inguinal hernia op on the 1st of august this year, i waited at least 6 weeks before i got back on the bike to be safe. 4 weeks until i went back to work.

I did it easy at first, not huge miles, spinning. Did feel a bit uncomfortable but then it was fine after a few more rides.

Just take it easy and remember, it heals from the outside in i believe. (Not sure. :P )

mattsccm » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:19 am wrote:Ta but :x
I could go out now the way I feel but I think the missus has hidden the bike keys! good idea as I would probably be back in with anothe pipe up my nose later.

Swallow » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:21 am wrote:I had an inguinal hernia repair twenty years ago and was in hospital for a week and off work for six weeks. Procedures have changed so much in recent years, I had a umbilical hernia repair about three years ago as a day patient and was back at work the same week. Back on the bike gently, after a couple of weeks but most importantly you should speak too your doctor as each op is different.

Vorpal » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:23 am wrote:1) ask your doctor
2) start with a stationary bike (gym or turbo?) as they aren't as hard on the abdominal muscles
3) take it easy, unless you want to go through it again
4) ask your doctor

Heal well & quickly! :D :D

ambodach » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:03 pm wrote:It was 6 weeks before I felt comfortable getting back on bike after an elective umbilical hernia op. Your body will tell you if not comfortable so just take it easy to check it out.If it doesn't feel right do not do it.Doctors sometimes do not understand cycling unless they are cyclists themselves.My surgeon airily suggested "a couple of weeks off cycling" but my body suggested otherwise.He really meant a gentle run a few hundred yards to the local shop,not mountain biking.

1942alexander » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:03 pm wrote:In May 2009, I had a bilateral inguinal hernia repair at about 3pm, under a general anesthetic. At about 9pm I walked up and down the hospital corridors for over an hour, slowly, but still probably did about two miles. Had a couple of bad days when I got home but not bad enough to take the painkillers, given to me on discharge. Looking back at my run log, (I was a runner at the time), I had a break for two weeks and then in the next two weeks I clocked up over fifty miles with the last run virtually back to my normal pace. I was almost sixty seven years old then and really thought that this operation would severely impact on my physical activities. As it transpired, it was a breeze. I'm now over seventy and started cycling again last year, even got in a few 10 mile TTs, about fifty years after I gave it up. I think most of the replies on this thread are being over cautious. Listen to your body. Modern methods are much superior to what happened in the past. Get out there, test yourself. You'll know when you reach your limit, you don't have to do an all out sprint or climb the biggest hill on your first week back, just go out and enjoy the scenery. Regard to all... the new boy.

mattsccm » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:08 pm wrote:Well the op happened at about 11pm on the 18th. I get a few spasms in strange places but feel fine. I have decided to stay off the bike until the 1st of Jan then try the turbo for a while . Honest I feel fine and reckon that pedalling would be easier than walking asit's only jerks that give me twinge. Actually the most grief is coming from the regrowing hairs on my belly. A few mm of stubble now which is catching my clothing. My way of preventing that is not for public viewing.!

MattyDeez » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:43 pm wrote:I know what you mean, my crotch had to be shaved and the hairs growing back was not nice, some sharp pains as well with them!

I noticed they had shaved my leg, only noticed it a few days after in the shower, i was shocked but after googling it, it's just a earth strip for the device they use.

DavidT » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:17 pm wrote:I gave my main experiences above. FWIW given the most recent comments here, my GP did make a point of telling me that the longevity of a hernia repair can be significantly influenced by it's initial repair period. I was certainly told not to put myself at a (longer term) risk by "overdoing it" in the very short term, even though it may have felt OK.

I have no particular viewpoint on this, and only wish anyone having such an operation well with their recovery plan.

1942alexander » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:23 pm wrote:Hi Matty,
When I had my hernias repaired, I asked the surgeon if I had to shave myself. It turned out that his patients are not shaved at all. They just cut the hairs short. He reckoned that shaving gave any infections an easy way into the body due to the minute cuts that shaving causes. It made sense to me.

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Re: Hernia topics rebuild

Postby Si » 28 Jan 2014, 1:05pm

I notice there is also a bit about hernias in the latest issue of Cycle (Jan 2014)....but not had time to read it to see if it adds much to what has been said (apart from: recumbents are good for hernia sufferers)

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Re: Hernia topics rebuild

Postby Graham » 30 Jan 2014, 3:57pm

Si, Thanks for the warning about the article in Cycle. I will get to see it when it is available to the public.

I may regret writing this :? but I have just returned from my first significant ride after a bilateral inguinal repair.

This is day op+5 : 14 miles : flatish : full-susp MTB : on-road . . . . so far no problem.
{Edit : This was actually too much. Increased discomfort for a day or two after. I won't start again for a few days.
When I do restart, the build up will be much more gradual.
I suspect that it was the repetitious movements of cycling that aggravated the affected area.

( Even a few miles requires thousands of repetitions. )}

For all hernia operation nerds :-

* SIngle port laparoscopic . . . .i.e. one hole to do both sides in one go !!
* total extraperitoneal (TEP)

I left the hospital 5 hours after the operation began.
Constricted urine flow took about 36 hours to return to normal.
Sore throat for about 24 hours.
Two mile walk on op+1.
Two mile cycle on op+3
Knocked back by severe constipation for a couple of days.
Total painkiller intake - 12 paracetamol

Post-Op Advice from the Surgeon ( for me ) :
Resume normal activities asap. That includes lifting whatever you want. Keep moving.
Stay off the bike for a couple of days, then build up again.
Don't swim for a couple of weeks ( infection risk )
Oh yes, he did say I could go to the gym the following day, but I did not take him up on that !!

Here is a case study : same surgeon, same hospital . . . .
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... I-gym.html
Last edited by Graham on 1 Feb 2014, 10:23am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Update : First significant ride wasn't OK.

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Cycling after hernia op

Postby Bill Grigg » 4 Mar 2016, 1:00pm


Can anyone give advice on how soon you can cycle after a hernia op, please?

Had operation on 20 Feb and recovering ok, although still bit bruised and sore. Surgeon was a bit vague and gave me a timescale of 4-6 weeks for most activities but with cycling perhaps towards the 6 weeks end.

I suspect it may vary with type of cycling - I would be much less keen on heading out on MTB than a leisurely 'sit up and beg' ride on a cyclepath on my Brompton!

In the meantime, have cheered myself up by booking European Bike Bus for a three week cycle/camping tour of Rhone valley and Provence in August!



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Re: Cycling after hernia op

Postby Spinners » 4 Mar 2016, 1:09pm

Welcome to the forum!

I have no direct experience (I had my hernia op as a child) but would ask you to err on the cautious side and use very light gears for your first few rides.

Good luck with your recovery and enjoy your planned tour!
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Re: Cycling after hernia op

Postby Bill Grigg » 4 Mar 2016, 6:44pm

Read through all the posts and it pretty much reinforces what I suspected, ie leave it at least 3-4 weeks and then only very gentle cycling if everything feels ok by then. If I'm at all in doubt will leave it the full 6 weeks. I've actually got a GP appointment at about 4-5 weeks, about something else!, so have opportunity to discuss it then.

Happy to post how I get on so other people can benefit from my experiences.
Last edited by Graham on 7 Mar 2016, 8:11am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Amendments for topic merge

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Re: Cycling after hernia op

Postby Graham » 5 Mar 2016, 9:49am

There are lots of variables, including what sort of hernia you are having fixed and what sort of operating method is used.

Best to listen to the consultant / doctors. Although the surgeon who did mine . . .
( Double inguinal hernias, Single-port Laparoscopic, Total-Extra-Peritoneal )
. . . . did mislead me into cycling a bit too early.
So take it easy and see how you feel during the recovery period.

I hope all goes well. Please feedback when you can.

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Re: Cycling after hernia op

Postby Eyebrox » 6 Mar 2016, 10:13pm

I had my op in November. Was advised to leave cycling out for six weeks. But I decided I would venture out after four weeks. By that stage I wasn't confident that I'd healed and was worried about causing more injury. The six weeks were up on Jan 1 - and I left my reintroduction to cycling until that special date. I think you should hold off for the full six weeks - then ride off in confidence, rather than gingerly pushing on the pedals.

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Re: Hernias, Operations, Cycling, Recovery

Postby ambodach » 16 Mar 2016, 8:53pm

I had inguinal hernia repair with mesh three weeks ago exactly. Bruising around and including genital area incredible but has now largely faded. Where hair had been shaved off was very uncomfortable for about 10 days as stubble grew back. Went out on Brompton today for an easy 12 miles in beautiful weather on flattish roads. No problems :D

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Re: Hernias, Operations, Cycling, Recovery

Postby steady eddy » 11 Jan 2018, 12:43pm

I had a large incisional hernia repair at the end of September 2017 following major abdominal surgery three years previously. The repair was reinforced with an A4 sized piece of mesh ( the biggest they do!!) Originally advised before the op not to cycle for 6 months, I was allowed to cycle from the start of January 2018 so that 3 months recuperation. I have only tried 3 miles but it was fine. The discomfort has largely gone but I am not confident enough yet to discard the elastic support. As soon as it is warmer and drier I will be back out there but a winter layoff is hardly a hardship.
Hats off to my surgeon he has done a brilliant job (twice).