Simple question; how long did you wait before lifting weights after you got your j-pouch?

I hear hernia can become a problem if one is not careful. Please do share your thoughts on this as weights are calling me more and more each day.

Original Post

After my pouch was completely done, I was probably lifting weights 2 and a half months later. I was definitely taking it easy and it was about another month before I was pushing myself more. Everyone is different and we all have limits, don't push yourself too quickly and take it easy when you start.

Think it also depends on whether you had open or laparoscopic surgery. 
I had open surgery and even prior to my J pouch creation, I decided I’d take a year off from all activity, including weight training but even after my takedown, there was no way I could return to training within 2 months, especially as I had a open wound at my old stoma site.

It was at least 8 months after takedown before  I felt well enough to return to training.

Prior to surgery, i had good a core condition which helps reduce the risk of a hernia.

I had a colostomy bag for 9½ years and for at least 5 years before the J pouch surgery , as well as core strength workouts & weight training,  I also participated in an intense form of self defence training.

I think the concern in regard to weight lifting after j pouch surgery, is performing Olympic style deadlifts due to the internal bearing down pressure that’s required during such a lift, which can even cause embarrassing accidents to those not even afflicted with a bowel condition.  

I went back to my powerlifting and core training pretty quickly, but I started very very light.  I was lifting light weights between each surgery, usually about 4 weeks after surgery.  But I started with about 20% of my previous max, and did very high numbers of repetitions.  I gradually added weight and reduced repetitions.  I also returned gradually to core stretching and training (it was very painful until the scar tissue was all stretched out).   I was back to a 'normal' routine after about 4 months.  However I have never put on my belt, as I am afraid it would hurt my pouch.   I try to empty my jpouch really well and do not eat for a couple of hours before lifting.  I have not had any incontinence, but sometimes I do have bathroom visits between sets.   

Lifting is *not* risk-free for J-pouchers , but folks may judge it worth the risk if lifting is important to them. The usual suggestion is to wait six weeks after abdominal surgery to resume “unrestricted” lifting. A lifting belt can’t harm the pouch, and might help prevent some (but certainly not all) potential injuries.

The most likely lifting injuries related to J-pouch surgery are probably incisional hernias and pouch prolapse. Girlunky’s lower weight/higher rep transitional strategy probably reduces the risk substantially, but some risk persists over the long term. One approach could be to adopt that strategy permanently instead of transitionally. A J-pouch isn’t original equipment - it’s more like a clever Rube Goldberg invention, with some vulnerable attachment points.

Yes, well I did give up on the idea of competing in powerlifting again.  I always leave two reps on the floor - meaning I don't push to my maximums ever.  

The signals our body sends us about our lifting limits are mostly about muscle exhaustion, and don’t tend to provide good information about surgery-related risks. That being said, the less weight you lift the lower the risk. I know that is irritating information.

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