Strenuous Biking 6 Months after Nissen

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Dave234
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/29/2012 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
I am at 6 months after the Nissen Fundoplication, and yesterday I purchased a really sweet bike for me and the wife.  We rode around for about 5 hours.  Near the end we ate food (not a huge amount, but I felt uncomfortably full.....I've been feeling very full lately after only a little bit of food).

On an empty stomach, we rode over a long, rickety bridge (jostling us as we rode), and we pushed hard to climb up hills on the bike, etc.
 
My surgeon said (I reconfirmed with him many, many, many times) that I could lift weights (even 200 lbs) a few months after the surgery.
 
My stomach kinda hurts now, though I think it's just a bit sore because I really haven't been using any of my muscles for like the past year.
 
But it did feel weird when I leaned over to move something.  
 
I'm probably worrying unnecessarily, because the idea of destroying the wrap by lifting too much scares the beejeebus out of me.......so I guess what I'm kinda asking for here is some reassurance, or for someone to warn me not to ride bikes and stuff.  I really like riding bikes for very long distances and I really, really love lifting weights.
 
I understand the wrap should be able to handle all of that.  My surgeon actually said that the Nissen could handle all of that while the TIF does not.
 
It is my understanding that the whole "do nothing, don't lift ANYTHING" after the Nissen is an Old Wive's Tale remnant of the Nissen surgery as it used to be, years ago, and that it no longer holds any bearing when done properly by a good surgeon.
 
Any thoughts? 

bowecho
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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 5/29/2012 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I say go for it! Riding a bike is great exercise, and its fun.

I started doing some light workouts a few months after surgery, but ended up stopping. Since then I've been eating poorly and I've gained lots of weight. I've been eating anything and everything that I used to not be able to. This weekend I went for a bike ride, went swimming and then to the driving range to hit a few balls, and my body is sore EVERYWHERE, including my stomach. I think your soreness is just from those muscles not getting any use.

I wouldn't worry. Your surgeon has released you to do all physical activity. My surgeon has done the same. I may have mentioned this already, but he told me about one of his patients who moves furniture for a living. He had the surgery a few years ago and lifts god knows how much weight a day and is doing great. My surgeon basically said, if the surgery is done properly, there's no reason it should come undone due to physical activity. That's all I needed to hear.
Nissen Fundoplication - 11/22/11

Dave234
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/29/2012 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, bowecho!!!!! That is EXACTLY what I wanted and needed to hear!!!!!!!! Hey, we had our surgeries within days of each other! Mine was on November 17, 2011!!!!

Jonh71
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/29/2012 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I did a lot of exercise both resistance and cardio before and after my wrap, I would typically run upto 10k twice/three times per week and incline press around 80kg at least 3 times per week. I had no problems with this.

However I did burst my wrap completely 11 months post op lifting a bike into a car boot and I believe this was due to the following. I ate a reasonably good lunch with a couple of drinks and then lifted the bike into the car boot. The lift was awkward as I had to lift the bike over the lip of the bumper and lower it into the boot whilst at full arm stretch with a ike that was obviously reasonably heavy due to the position I had to hold the bike.

All I would say is take caution with weights after eating and consider how fluid you take on as both squeeze up when lifting as you hold your abs in and your wrap is at top of your stomach.

This is only my experience and opinion and I am not lecturing just trying to offer experience and advice.

Dave234
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/29/2012 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
How did you feel when the wrap burst??
 
And how are you doing now???
 
 

Jonh71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/30/2012 12:10 AM (GMT -6)   
The moment my wrap burst I had a sharp pain that initially died away but then got worse over the day and 2 days later I was admitted to hospital. I had problems taking a full breath with pain running through chest into the back. This took about 1 week to fully clear. I immediately had a lot of belching and had reflux again with some discomfort eating.

The problem I had was getting a correct diagnosis, I knew I had done something to the wrap but so many doctors are ignorant of this procedure and so it was one year before I had and endoscope that confirmed there was no sign of the wrap.

I now have a lot of symptoms, belching a lot with food refluxing into my mouth and things like general stomach aches, some acid, feeling of indigestion etc. I also had one very strange incident other day where a piece of watermelon just sat in my les, my les just seemed to remain open with the melon sat there. The symptoms are different to pre-operation in terms of my les seeming even looser. I am thankful for ppi's as they do cut out most of the acid.

I still exercise but not so much lifting and accept that some days I am just not up to it. I am due manometry and ph testing in late June and hope to have a redo soon. Good luck to yourself and as before my only advice would be to watch the food and fluid intake in terms of volume.

drtinsac
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 5/30/2012 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Jonh- can you speak about your surgeon's experience level, and did he "OK" the type of strenuous activities? I was reading the other day that if a surgery is done properly, it "should not" fail. I know there are lots of other variables besides experience and activity recommendations, but might they have played a role here?

I am very interested in this topic as I am an active male and I'm considering reflux surgery.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 5/30/2012 6:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dave,
Although at 6 months most of your healing is done, your body still has more healing to do.  You're bound to have some discomforts and complaining from your insides when you move to such a strenuous (and fun) activity.  That said, I don't see a single reason why you should worry even a moment.
 
Your surgeon is confident in his/her repair and who else are you going to listen to regarding what you can do post op?  Bike riding is a great way to get exercise.  I remember when I first started posting on this forum.  There was a member who'd had a redo (the first had lasted 20 years) and he hopped on his bike at 2 weeks and took an long ride.  If I'm not mistaken, most was uphill.  I remember telling him that he was my hero!
 
Hey, if your doc tells you you can lift weights, go for it.  The really heavy weight lifting activity is the only one I question.  Lifting hundreds of pounds is a huge pressure on your hernia repair.  Common sense just makes me question the wisdom in doing that regularly.  But still, medical knowledge should trump common sense, right?  My son lifts regularly and I know it would be a terrible loss for him not to be able to do it.  So go for it...you've got to live your life.
 
Don't worry a moment about the bike related discomfort!  You're fine...just sore.  Your insides are still adjusting and getting reoriented to the changes that have been done.
 
Enjoy your new bikes!
Happy riding,
Denise
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/30/2012 7:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,
As always, thanks. I know you hear that often but you deserve it every time and then some.

about the weightlifting, I really do plan to get back into top shape by working my way up to 200 lbs lifting (all with dumbbells, incline presses, flyes, reverse flyes, deltoid lifts, bicep curls, tricep curls, etc, man I miss that, like a starving carnivore to steak)

I will try to avoid eating or drinking much of anything while I do this, except for some water and gum.

Yes, Jonh, please provide additional information per drtinsac's questions. I am very interested in reading your responses.

Jonh71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/30/2012 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, the surgeon I saw had done a considerable amount of Nissen Funds and practices private and NHS. I am not sure how many he has done but I do know he runs surgery twice per month in NHS and twice per month private and that on the day I had mine he was doing 2 others and he has been operting this for over 5 years.

I had no herniation only a very relaxed LES that hardly closed at all.

Anyhow I was told I could lift and exercise with no issues and that the way the operation worked would be that when I ate it would close the LES stronger as food is pushed into the area. When it burst and I swa the surgeon he told me that the operation had burst as their was no sign of it left and that although he could not be certain it was a high probability that it was from pressure internally (and not from gas). Given what I was doing when it happened we discussed and again whilst he could not say it was definite how it happened the circumstances (eating a meal with a few drinks and then lifting a heavy load) would suggest pressure on the stitches from the inside.

I must also point out that after the pain initially occured and symptoms returned abut 5 days later I was sick one evening and this was very violent with me bringing up blood, this was accompanied by severe abdominal pain and I think that this was basically the last of the operation failing. The impact of the last event I cannot determine how much influence it had as I could not get re-examined until 11 months after the initial pain (the hospital discharged me in pain with a supposed pulled muscle that I know was not and my surgeon was not happy at this).

I will try to get the operation redone as I am now suffering and will continue to train but as now at a reduced level.

Good luck.

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/30/2012 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Why were you sick that evening? Did it have anything to do with what you ate or drank?
 
Also had you vomited any time before the bike-lifting incident?

Jonh71
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/30/2012 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry reads wrong.

Symptoms returned same day, I was sick 5 days later in night due to reflux.

I had no sickness before this as I had no issues.

Dave234
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/30/2012 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
In which country did you get your surgery, and in which year?

Jonh71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/30/2012 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Uk in July 2010, it failed in June 2011. Why do you ask?

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/30/2012 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Curiosity. I had mine done in the US in Nov 2011.

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 6/5/2012 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I lifted 20 lbs of dumbbells (10 lbs per dumbbell) with my old exercise routine, and rode bikes last weekend. I also ate a lot of Thai food. I did not lift anything heavy on a full stomach.

Now the surgical site is sore. Also I feel what feels like reflux again, where it is difficult to really get a good breath.

I have felt this before, when I went swimming 25 laps and ate spicy food.

Thoughts? Failed wrap or nothing to worry about? Would you advise I lift a little more weights today? Or hold off?
 
I'm at over 6 months.....approaching 7 months.......

Post Edited (Dave234) : 6/5/2012 3:09:43 PM (GMT-6)


Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 6/6/2012 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I just spoke with the receptionist at the surgeon's office and she said it was "bizarre" that I was having pain there and also the lung-suffocating reflux.

Someone please help???

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/6/2012 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't rely at all on the opinion of a receptionist at a surgeon's office, as far as I know, there's no medical education required to be a receptionist. :) You want the surgeon's opinion. Try to get through to him and see what he thinks.
Nissen Fundoplication - 11/22/11

Jonh71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 6/6/2012 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I would recommend a visit to see doctor, all I can offer is that my pain was internal and constant causing me to be unable to take full breath as it hurt too much. It was effectively as if someone had flicked a switch. I hope all is good.

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 6/6/2012 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Jonh71, did you still get that *rrrrrrrRRR* sound/feeling in your throat after taking a drink of water or other beverage?

Dave234
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 6/6/2012 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
It doesn't hurt to breathe...I just feel like my lungs aren't working properly and I feel light-headed. It just feels like the reflux I used to have.

Jonh71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 6/6/2012 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I had none of the issues you mention with swallowing but I didn't have that before either. I felt generally unwell and also like something inside me was moving, almost like my wrap was flapping. And I had the reflux with a lot of belching, in fact so much belching it was continuous.
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