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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the appendix tag

As most of you were preparing for Thanksgiving, I strategically scheduled my appendectomy for Wednesday so I wouldn’t have to host dinner this year. At least that’s what my brother is accusing me of doing.


My choice was to schedule for Wednesday afternoon or push the surgery out for two weeks. Sorry family, I’m taking Wednesday.


In the days prior to the surgery I reduced training volume, kept workouts aerobic, kept a keen eye on nutrition, cut out fish oil supplement per recommendations from the surgery center and kept the rest of my normal pre-race supplementation.


Yes, I treated the surgery event like a race with the goal of optimal body performance during the event and optimal recovery after the event. I’ll write more about this later.


Right before the surgery the doc asked if I had any questions. Yes, I had two:


  1. How is the incision in my colon closed? – It is closed with a staple gun and a series of staples.
  2. Can I have whatever part of my appendix isn’t going to pathology for testing in a jar to take home? – Uh, no. We used to let people take gall stones home in a jar; but due to concerns about the spread of hepatitis and AIDS, we aren’t allowed to let people take body parts home.  



Darn. I thought it would be cool to have my appendix in a jar.


That’s what I thought before the surgery.


Turns out the thing was big and the timing to have it plucked out was good. An average appendix is around 11 cm (4.33 inches) in length but they can range from 2 to 20 cm (0.79 to 7.87 inches). Diameter is usually around 7 or 8 mm (0.28 to 0.31 inches).


My appendix was roughly the diameter of a bratwurst and about three quarters of the length of a brat.


Now that I’ve seen photos of it, I’d rather not have it in a jar on my desk.





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