Exercise - Post Whipple

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Exercise - Post Whipple

by indierokker on Tue Dec 04, 2012 03:02 PM

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Hello Everyone, this is my first post!

A little background - I am a 22 year old female, and I am ALMOST 4 months post op. (Tumor was benign, yay!)

Recovery has most definitely been tough, and I have been tested in ways that I never thought possible, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me, which I am so grateful for. I know that many people on this site do not have the same advantages that I do. 

While much is back to normal for me, (I resumed my full time job about a month after the procedure. Tried a 2nd job not long after, but that was too tiring.) I'm eating normally, and there have only been minor complications, and they are usually remedied pretty quickly. I do have lower abdominal pain that REALLY hurts sometimes, it is very sharp, and the doctors don't seem to know what's causing it, as all of my scans are normal. I just have to suck it up, I guess!

My question after this book I've written is - do any of you have a regular workout routine? I haven't been back to the gym since the operation, but I'd like to get started. I've lost most of my muscle mass. (Pre-op I weighed 117 lb, post-op I was at 100 lb. I am now at 109 lb.) I still get fatigued pretty quickly, so I don't want to over do it. 

RE: Exercise - Post Whipple

by DavefromCT on Tue Dec 04, 2012 04:19 PM

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I have a regular workout routine consisting of running and weight training.  I started about 2 months post Whipple.  I do not limit myself on anything except pushing myself on ab exercises.  You may find if you may create a surgical hernia if you push the abs too much... take it easy.  Otherwise, for weight training I'm doing exactly what I did pre Whipple.

RE: Exercise - Post Whipple

by AliveInOldeTown on Wed Dec 05, 2012 05:56 PM

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Hello,  I'm very happy to learn your tumor was benign.  Still, having Whipple surgery is a really tough thing to have to go through.

You are very young to have had this type surgery, and your age, plus the fact it was not cancer, should make healing go faster.  I was 50 and in good physical condition at time of surgery.  It took quite some time for me to regain strength and stamina.  My suggestion regarding exercise is to first, always check with your doctor before starting any new activities.  They will probably tell you, as they always seem to do, to go at your own speed and add activities as you feel up to it.  From shortly after surgery, I walked, and added distance as I was able to.  I had to be very careful about doing abdominal exercises because I did not want to end up with a hernia.  Another user mentioned this also.  Within six months of surgery, I was walking about three miles daily.  I live in an old town (thus my name) just outside a large city.  We have miles of sidewalks so it is easy for me to walk rather than go to a health club.  I also do quite a bit of gardening.  That was difficult for me for the first couple of years (the stamina challenge).  Now ten years later, I take a bisk walk of  between 4-5 miles each morning.  That is my main exercise, plus some flexibility exercises.  Perhaps I enjoy walking rather than working out in a gym because I used to run for exercise.  My husband ran marathons, but I was never up to that :~). 

Re. building muscle.  The doctors told me after surgery to add protein to my diet to both heal and build muscle.  Animal protein like chicken or seafood is most effective.  Losing muscle mass (and weight) can also be a side affect of not absorbing nutrients/calories after Whipple surgery.  I have to take pancreatic enzymes (Creon) with meals/snacks.  I had lost weight and a lot of muscle after surgery until I started taking Creon.  One more thing that can cause loss of muscle is diabetes.  It's important to keep an eye on your glucose levels after this surgery as many of us develop diabetes as a result of the surgery. 

Whatever you decide to do, just take it easy at first and build up to your pre-surgery strength gradually.  Give yourself time to heal both physically and mentally.  The surgery you had is one of the most major or majors.  I hope alll continues to go well with you. 

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