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Physical Fitness Factor Physical Fitness Factor

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Unread 02-18-2008, 03:53 AM
Physical Fitness Factor

I am 44 years old and have been taking exercise classes for four years. These include some kick boxing, step aerobics, pilates, yoga, free weights. My boyfriend and I hike regularly on steep and rugged trails. If we cannot hike we do some heavy duty walking, for several miles.

As of today, 2/18, I am four weeks out from my TAH, bikini incision.

What else can I be doing to prepare my body for this surgery and, hopefully, expedite my recovery time?

Post-op... I know it is ultimately up to my doctor, but when can I expect to be able to hit the trails again (although maybe a bit less strenuous ones)?
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Unread 02-18-2008, 04:40 AM
Physical Fitness Factor

Good for you!! I think you are definitely "on the right trail" I am 47 - used to be a runner and rode a bicycle coast to coast in my 20's. So I am a former athlete. I started walking an hour a day 4 days a week to get ready for this thing - I work 3 12 hour shifts the other days or I'd be walking then too.

I work in a hospital - surrounded by docs, nurses, physical therapists that I have quizzed to death. Here is the common concensus -MOVE as much as possible - walking - but do not LIFT anything. And I was admonished not to confuse the two! Instead of putting everything in reach, get up to get your drink, get a book, etc. In fact, I was told to move every 90 minutes and work up from there. I have a small house - not a lot of walking room. I plan on walking down the driveway as soon as possible. I also plan on increasing the distance - not walking alone - every day.

The more you move the better and quicker your recovery. But don't then think you can start lifting - you can't. I'm sure you'll be able to do more than me - I am having a abdominal incision (vertical) for my TAH - plus you're in great shape going into it.

I definitely think you are right on target - can't wait to see how you do! Kudos to you!!
Unread 02-18-2008, 05:18 AM
Physical Fitness Factor

Since I'm on the other side of this thing (TAH/BSO six months ago) let me just assure you that you guys are so on the right track. I was not an athlete by any means, but I had been walking two miles a day and doing pilates for a year before my surgery (not intentionally; just coincidentally). I firmly believe that being in decent shape made the whole experience so much easier than I'd anticipated. Minimal pain, no complications, and I was walking (alone, about half a mile) a little more than a week after surgery. As you no doubt will, get up and walk in the hospital as quickly as you possibly can--for me, that was about 16 hours after surgery; the next day, I haunted the corridors pretty much all day long, pushing the squeaky IV pole along with me. And by the time I left, aside from some aching in my middle, I really felt perfectly fine.

Everyone's experience differs, of course. But for me, moving really seemed to be the key to a quick, pleasant recovery period.
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Unread 02-18-2008, 05:36 AM
Physical Fitness Factor

Regular exercise definitely helps in recovery. I had been working out 3 Xs per week for 2 years when I had my TAH, mostly on the ARC trainer or treadmill. I know it sped my recovery. By the start of my third week I was walking outside. I also started back on the treadmill at the Y, doing 30 mins per stint as long as I felt up to it. Now I'm 4 months from my surgery and doing 2 hour workouts on my machines. I certainly wouldn't have had the stamina for those prior to the surgery.
Unread 02-18-2008, 11:38 AM
Physical Fitness Factor

For the four weeks before my surgery, I made sure I walked 2-3 miles a day, 3-4 times a week, I did ab crunches every day (up to 150 before surgery), I did stretching every day, I made sure I took a good vitamin and calcium tablet every day, and I was almost fanatic about washing my hands!

I had a very good recovery. I was on morphine (by PCA) for pain relief for about the first 18 hours and then switched to 600 mg Motrin every 6 hours. As soon as my catheter was out, I was able to get myself out of bed, to the bathroom, and back into bed -- all on my own. The first few times, my abdomen really burned (like a horrible muscle strain), but that improved with usage (and probably with figuring out the best way to use my arms to help myself out of bed). Once I was home, I made sure I walked a bit every time I got up to the bathroom. As soon as I had the energy I started walking around the house (round and round -- I couldn't get out much because of the cold weather). I'm 6 weeks post-op tomorrow and I'm at 45-50 minutes walking at home; about 35-40 minutes when I get out to the mall (can walk faster there). I'm hoping to start back to my ab crunches and stretching withing the next week or so. I can still feel a bit of a pull when I lift something heavier that I should, so I'm still being really careful. (My restriction was no more than 10 lbs in the first 4-6 weeks).

Best of luck to you!
Unread 02-18-2008, 12:24 PM
Physical Fitness Factor

Hopefully I am not scaring you but I am having a really hard time with recovery. I am in great shape, before surgery I ran on my elliptical machine everyday for 6 miles, used free weights and did core exercises. I had alot of muscle repair done and my doctor said that could be a reason for healing slower. I am not going to be cleared for exercise again until 12 weeks. If your surgery isn't as extensive, it should be sooner for you. My surgery took 4 hours.
Unread 02-18-2008, 12:59 PM
Physical Fitness Factor

I've always been a pretty active person - yoga, walking, biking, rollerblading, aqua aerobics, kayaking etc. I had a TVH (so adjust accordingly for the lack of abdominal incision) on 2/13, was walking the next morning on my own down the hallway of the hospital and have been walking around the house a good bit. Yesterday, 4 days post op, I did a 1 mile walk with my sweetie at a pretty normal pace. It was tiring, but felt good.

It'll probably be a while before I put the blades on or do a long bike ride tho.. but my doc said I should be good to go back to most of my activities within a week or so.

I think being in good physical shape before surgery definitely gives you a benefit in the healing process. Or, at least know it has been for me.

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