Sunday, May 08, 2022

Preparing for a Successful Ileostomy Reversal (and Recovery)

by Derek Benoit, March 31st, 2022

ALWAYS consult your physician, specialist, or appropriate exercise professional before beginning ANY exercise or treatment plan. This content is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. By accessing this content, you agree to hold harmless and Benoit Outdoor Media LLC for any injury, death, or damage to private property that results from performing any exercise, therapeutic exercise, or in receiving medical treatment.

A simple but effective tool for my abdominals, shoulders, back, and other muscles. Photo by Derek Benoit

How I’m physically preparing for my ileostomy reversal revolves around the likely weaknesses coming out of surgery. Specifically, these are: core strength, and leg strength/cardio fitness. These aren’t much different than my overall outdoor fitness goals, but there is an added bit of urgency here: the stronger and better you are going into surgery, the better you’ll be coming out on the other end. Moreover, the stronger my abs are going into surgery, theoretically the more stable they’ll be afterward. Of course, I won’t be able to do core heavy activity for up to six weeks post surgery, and the reintroduction to such will be gradual. I don’t need a post-surgical hernia any more than anyone else. Of course, as I recover from surgery and progress towards bow opening day, I’ll be doing MUCH more with resistance for strength.

Abdominal Preparation for my Ileostomy Reversal Procedure

This is pretty straight forward stuff. The key for me is increasing times of hold, and increasing volume of repetitions where applicable.

  • Planks
  • Side planks, left and right (also good for my shoulders)
  • Ab roller
  • Bicycle holds with elastic therapy band

Leg Strength Preparation for my Ileostomy Reversal Procedure

The first entry is also a part of my cardio prep, but I felt it does almost as much for strength as it does for cardio. Thus, it shows up here, too.

  • Stair climb repeats (multiple sets of five reps, reasonably brisk pace) 1-2x’s per week, off dialysis days
  • Hill repeats (using the little torturous hill above my house) 1-2x’s per week, off dialysis days
  • One long duration easy hike/walk-easy enough to do on a dialysis day

Biggest Concerns Going into my Ileostomy Reversal Procedure

The following are the major concerns I have, which I’m hopefully addressing adequately by my routine.

  • Failing to adequately condition my abs
  • Struggling to be ambulatory post surgery
  • Having adequate blood flow to properly heal both the bowels and abdominal muscles post- procedure
  • Physically handling dialysis well at home post-procedure
  • Being physically able to handle walking/light cardio post-procedure

For more information regarding ileostomy reversal procedures, please check out the following links:

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