T Nation

Hernia operations

Do hernia operations have a negative affect on bodybuilding?

I had a hernia repair operation back in '96. I am not a bodybuilder but it hasn’t affected my lifting or strength and the scare is barely noticeable. Oh one more thing, my doctor warned against getting the laproscopic procedure, can’t remember why but I got the plain old steel-mesh patch and it’s been fine.

Your doc may have recommended against the laparoscopic procedure for reasons that you wouldn’t like to hear. It’s a relatively new way of doing surgery, so many surgeons are still learning how to do it that way even today. Five or six years ago, the situation was even worse. Having said that, there are many surgeons who are quite comfortable doing surgeries that way and are quite good at it. The advantages of getting it repaired laparoscopically are smaller incisions, less perioperative pain, shorter healing time, and shorter hospital stay. These are, of course, generalities that don’t always apply but do more often than not. Disadvantages are mostly surgeon experience related. Simply ask the surgeon if he’s done a lot this way and if he feels comfortable doing it this way. The vast majority of them will be honest with you about this as they have no desire to do procedures they can potentially screw up. Good luck with your surgery.

5 hernias, 3 procedures in the past 10 years. Two were open. The last a lap with mesh. Zero impact on lifting. Based on my research they are a genetic “gift”. They never repair themselves and can be quite uncomfortable. Finally, don’t hold your breath when you lift anything. If you a predisposed, you’ll find more weak sites on your abdomenal wall.