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3374 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2010 3:30 AM by EllenMarieOlenska
EllenMarieOlenska Amateur 7 posts since
Apr 14, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 10, 2008 7:53 PM

Post-op abdominal pain


I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, but "med tent" sounded like medical issues.  I'm assuming that there have to be others out there who have gone through a similar experience as this surgery is fairly common.  5 months ago I had my gallbladder removed laparoscopally.  I started running 4 weeks post op, and had a lot of pain, so stopped; and the pain did subside.  I am a triathlete, and eventually was able to get up to being able to do a sprint triathlon after 3 months post op.  I am plagued by pain below my main incision (umbilibcal) from time to time.  I have no started to increase my milage in attempt to train for a 1/2 marathon and notice a definate "dose-related" increase in the pain with the increased running.  And I'm not talking about a little bit of discomfort - I'm talking about curled up in a ball, lying in bed, missing work pain.  It is now 5 months since my surgery.  One physician examined me and felt the pain was "musculoskeletal" (although it feels "inside", so I don't know, maybe an adhesion or something from the surgery?) and that maybe I am doing too much too soon.  I don't have pain during the activity, usually not until the next day or so.  I've had a CT scan, and apparently everything in there is okay!  From what I read, this surgery is supposed to be a piece of cake and you are supposed to be able to resume your activities by this time.  But some people tell me that sometimes (egged on by insurance companies), we aren't always encouraged to let our bodies fully heal, and are sometimes led to believe procedures, etc. won't  be as bad as they are.



Unfortunately I, nor my surgeon; no anyone who does the type of activity I do.  So, I am wondering, are there any of you runners, triathletes, cyclists, who have had this surgery; and what has been your experience/s with recovery?  Has anyone had the type of problem I am having?



Any advice, experiences, stories, encouragement is welcome!  On one hand, I am hoping it is just that things are still "healing", because that would imply it will get better.



Thank you.












  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 11, 2008 5:25 PM (in response to EllenMarieOlenska)
    Re: Post-op abdominal pain


    I can't help with your specific problem.  But I had a badly sprained ankle once and ended up in PT for several weeks.  A year later it would still ache after runs and at random other times.










  • Chocolate Thunder 303 Pro 69 posts since
    Jan 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Sep 12, 2008 12:53 PM (in response to EllenMarieOlenska)
    Re: Post-op abdominal pain








    Here's my thought . . . Despite the surgery being a laproscopic, they still have to cut through the muscular layer of your abdominal wall.  At the very least, and even in a healthy person, this is going to cause some pain and some trauma to the area.  First some questions: You mention you're a triathlete, so I know you know how to push your body, but does it hurt on the bike too?  Swim?  Does it hurt when you're not running?  Can you "stretch it" by reaching up to the sky or by hyperextending your back?  When you touch the area, what do you feel (ii.e. a lump?) is the site tender? 



    With regards to adhesions, it's not terribly likely it's an intestinal adhesion because they didn't have to go through the intesines. I'm making an assumption here, but if it's a sharp pain, it could still be scar tissue from your lap site, interfering with the ability of your abdominal muscles to to effectively hold you upright while running--aka core strength. As the area heals and the scar tissue forms, you may have a small area with a slightly compromised blood flow or a small area the muscles don't exactly work right.  Also the abdominal fascia could be adhering to another layer in the abdominal compartment. None of this would be very visible on CT scan.



    If it's anything like what I've described, this will likely heal.  It just needs some time.  You may need to take some (gasp!) easy time, or if you can manage, some time away from running, and doing some biking or swimming, or doing yoga to help stretch out that area instead. 



    You mention it's dose-related to when you increase your mileage, does it get easier between times if you don't increase your miles?  I know, NOT increasing mileage isn't always an option. 



    Does that help?  Keep us updated?






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