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catfishaustin 10-23-2013 12:45 PM

Hernia Surgery Recovery
Hi All,

Had hernia surgery last week; beforehand, I was curious to understand what I could expect and how long it would take to recover. Searching yielded lots of stories from weightlifters, bikers etc., but nothing disc golf specific, so thought I’d share FYI.

I was diagnosed 6 months ago with an inguinal hernia on the left side; docs said it wasn’t urgent but that it would slowly grow over time, so best to have it taken care of. I had this surgery on the right side 2 years ago, and it seemed like the doc did a good job so I decided I’d go with him again. I’m 43 & in relatively good shape from gym visits and regular DG on my local course, which has a good bit of elevation change so is a semi strenuous hike.

Day of surgery (Tuesday): 6am arrival at the hospital, 8:45 surgery (the laparoscopic type.) Woke up 10:45ish in recovery, vague sense of victory/relief at not being dead. Had some mild nausea from the anesthesia - they gave me a pill that took care of it. Started on Norco 5/325 hydrocodone/tylenol, 1 pill every 4 hours. Ice every :20 or so. Getting out of bed requires rolling on to one side, then pushing yourself up sideways. Napped & had grilled cheese & soup for dinner. Slept from 10pm to 10am, up every few hours for drugs & bathroom.

Recovery day 1 (Wednesday): Took the day off work, woke up 10:30, feeling good. Icing on and off. Felt like an old man walking around a bit hunched over, spent lots of time in bed. Minimal pain due to continued painkillers, tried hard to avoid coughing/laughing. Last norco at 4pm. No problem sleeping.

Recovery day 2 (Thursday): Very positive, no need for pain meds, feeling well overall except constipated (apparently a side effect of the pain meds.) Finally went, but even with stool softeners taken since day 1, this was really difficult since you can’t ‘push.’ Worked from home all day until 4:30 started to feel tired and had to lay down. Took a shower, but without directly washing incisions.

Recovery day 3 (Friday): Beginning to feel normal, just with stomach tenderness & aching. Cramps in shoulder / back of neck. Gas & constipation continue. Incisions starting to itch, used hydrocortisone cream on the immediate area. Going a bit crazy from being inside, so started practice putting in the backyard, 30 min out to 40 ft. No issues.

Days 4&5 (Saturday / Sunday) longer walks, more & longer putting. No prob moving or sleeping, now just feels like post sit-up soreness.

Day 6 (Monday) post op follow up appt.: incisions and repair OK, cleared to run, play DG and lift up to 30 lbs., essentially resume normal activity while using common sense (if it hurts, stop.) Doc indicated I should wait another week for the gym or kid lifting, and come back in 2 wks for a final follow-up visit. Played home course from short tees, working my way cautiously up to throwing at 70% power, no problem though it seemed like I felt forehand shots a bit more. Avoided overhand shots. Minor aching in the evening at repair sight, but gone the next morning. Shot even par, decent for me.

Day 7 (Tuesday, 1 week post op) Played from the long tees, throwing full shots though still no overhand. Played poorly, but no pain or unusual sensations from repair or incision sites. Incision area still itchy, but no longer any fear of reopening. Still feel a bit of a knot at the repair site, but otherwise feel like I’m totally back to normal with the exception of heavy lifting.

Tips: This reflects my experience, but recovery time varies for everyone, so feel your way and don’t rush it. Make sure you’re on a high fiber diet starting at least a few days before the surgery, and try to go the morning of!

timwalker 12-23-2018 11:16 AM

Awesome to hear!

paul2432 12-23-2018 02:00 PM

What's the rush? Having it done laparoscopic, your recovery time will definitely be faster than a fresh cut through the skin. But, I played a month after having my surgery and it had to be re-done 15 years later. IMO - take some time off and let things heal a bit more. But I do admire your tenacity.

brutalbrutus 12-23-2018 02:13 PM

Yea whats the rush, the surgery was only 5 years ago...


Halcón 12-23-2018 02:29 PM

Ha. I was going to chew him out, until I got to Brutus' post. :D

It never ceases to amaze me how soon after surgery, people go back to activities that can wait...forever.

Let. Your. Body. Heal.

DiscGolfCraig 12-23-2018 02:43 PM

Notice we never heard any more updates in the 5 years since. Maybe recovery didn’t go so well after all.

ru4por 12-23-2018 03:11 PM

There are some good take aways from this revived thread. I have a couple disc golf buddies going through hernia surgery in January. Post surgical constipation is a legit concern. Colace is a stool softener that can be a good idea any time that you take narcs. I would recommend a few weeks of recovery for most folks.

Plastic Thunder 01-04-2019 12:49 AM

I had inguinal hernia surgery in 2016, not some thing that I hurried to get done. Self diagnosed in May, and did the surgery in November. This one is the better of the hernias to suffer if you had to pick one. Stool softener is a must for the first day or so since there is some reorganization of your plumbing during surgery to get the mess in place. You take a day or so to unknot yourself in my opinion.

The first dump(2 days after surgery), this is the reason for the still softener, it will be the last solid stool for a while. Trust me when I say this, after the first stool, the rest comes out like water for about 3 weeks and you wonder if things will ever get back to normal. It will, it just takes a while.

I had surgery right before I took off for 3 weeks of meeting in Texas. Days of sitting, lectures, and frequent trips to the bathroom, no throwing since there was no time. I had no real pain, dropped the pain meds to zero on day 2.

Got home and resumed the normal schedule of play.

Oh, one other thing. The sex thing, don't even try your wife will laugh at you....Give yourself 3-4 weeks.

da Crippler 01-04-2019 08:59 AM

I had umbilical hernia surgery that actually improved my game. Of course I went out after only a week of recovery (the stitches had just been removed) and started throwing. I started out slowly ramping up the power while trying not to do any quick or jerky moves, and it eventually smoothed out my stroke. I stopped reaching back so far and was able to get more distance and accuracy by slowing down my throw and using my wrist more to get more snap at the end.

Forehand Dan 10-20-2019 12:55 PM

I had Inguinal hernia surgery three weeks ago and still sore and some bloating comes and goes. Feels like discgolf is gonna wait 3-4 months. Anybody else with this experience?

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