Lifting After an Appendectomy

Hey folks. I’m coming off an appendectomy on Tuesday night. Recovery is 3-4 weeks depending on how bad the perforation is (mine was pretty well contained per the surgeon).

Has anyone else here had an appendectomy and do you have any thoughts / suggestions for when I get back to it? I was lucky in that the doc was able to complete everything laparoscopically so the damage was minimal and recovery should be easier.

My understanding is that the biggest risk from lifting anything post surgery is a hernia. Is there anything else to consider?

I will probably plan to start lightly on Jan 1st to be on the safe side.


Sounds like a good plan


I would get back into the swing of things with a machine-based workout.

Build up the core with isolation exercises so that I can focus, and instantly feel if anything is “off”.

After 6-8 weeks (post surgery), go back to “normal” workouts. By that time, it’s either going to break or not, no use babying anything anymore.

That’s what I would do personally.

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Any reason you couldn’t walk on a high incline treadmill, at a slow pace?

I think @punnyguy is on it. The only thing I’d add is I wouldn’t start those core exercises until you’re cleared (after 4 weeks).

It’s going to be a small staple line across your bowel. Remember from your Marine days that risk is likelihood x severity. A leak would be catastrophic; a hernia severe.

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Thanks everyone. I talk to thw surgeon on Monday. I should know more about lighter stuff like walking on the treadmill. I would be surprised if I can’t do that soon if not already.

Unfortunately I don’t have machines in my home gym. I was thinking about doing a lot more atuff with bands and more unilateral work with DBs at first.

For example
BW Squats → Goblet Squat → Squat

Something like that.

How is recovery progressing?

Recovery is going well. I get the occasional pain here and there and the stitches haven’t fully dissolved, but I’m able to lift relatively heavy again and I’m no worse for wear.

Sounds very long time for stitches, mine dissolved 2,5 weeks after surgery.

Weird. The doc told me six months. It might not be the actual stitches, though. I just have hard spots at the incision points, which I’m told will go away with time.

I think it is some sort of scarring. Maybe it will soften, or it could be massaged/ or otherwise adressed.

Nice to hear experiences about recovery. Currently 6 weeks post surgery, and curious, what to expect.

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I started very light exercise about 6-weeks post-op. The biggest concern for you now is a hernia. You’ll likely feel some pain in your abdomen from time to time. I felt a lot of pressure and some pain anytime I did an exercise that exerted force on the abdomen and not necessarily obvious ones either (like push-ups and even triceps push downs for example). 4-6 more weeks and you’ll be damn near if not 100% is my guess.

I had mine ripped out about 14 years ago, doc said biggest issue with doing stuff was ripping the scar tissue before its strong enough. After a few days I was feeling pretty good, and did some work under the car, later that day my old fella turned black, I shit myself and had a very quick and embarrassing trip to the doc where she told me it’s just bruising, haha


I started 3 weeks post-op. Just leg curls, extensions, split squats, facepulls and floorpresses.
Still scared to get abdominal pressure, though there is no pain even during overhead presses, or sandbag over shoulder type stuff.

But you think about 10 weeks post-op it is safe to do heavy deadliftig again? :slight_smile:


Probably. This Friday is actually my first post-op deadlift session, but it’s going to be light for reps.

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I’m 2 weeks post op. I had a lap appendectomy the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve been doing incline treadmill walks (approximately 2-3 miles) but I have to take a rest day after. I’m completely wiped afterwards. I’m afraid of losing all the progress I made this year. I started seriously lifting 3x a week with cardio on rest days. I was 170 lb and 31%bf in January 2019. Pre surgery I was 145 lb and 25%bf. I want to maintain my muscle and get back to lifting. Any ideas? Thanks.

Idk, I got fat post OP…

In all seriousness, you’ll probably regress a bit just because you have to take it easy for a while, but you’ll recover fairly quickly and be back to where you are in no time. You don’t want to make things worse by getting a hernia. That’s even longer off.

My advice would be to follow your surgeons instructions on lifting and concentrate on your diet. You’ll bounce by once you can lift again in no time.

*I don’t remember when I felt 100% again, but it’s been a fast year since my surgery and I can do everything I could before the surgery (my numbers are a littler lower still, but I think that’s from other factors). I pulled 365 the other day, which is probably 85-90% of my current 1RM for reference.

Thanks for the quick reply. I’ve been watching my diet. Even though, I’ve still been losing weight. I was given a higher 15 lb weight restriction for 6 weeks up from 5 lb for the 1st 2 weeks post op. I’m gonna start with some goblet squats. I’ll be careful not to get a hernia.

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I would start with bodyweight squats if I was you. If you don’t follow @Paul_Carter on IG check out his recent post on bw walking lunges. BW movements are often overlooked, but I think they can be great particularly post op.

Good luck, man.

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