Recovery Time Q!

I have 2 questions! I believe I have the answer to #1 but it never hurts to double check :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  1. What is the recovery time for one external surgery side?
  • It seems 2-3 weeks on average, and back to the office I go?
  1. What is the recovery time for one external surgery side, in regards to being physically able to run, jump fences, to be pushed, to be grabbed, to be kicked, etc?
  • I know this is an odd question but I work in a field that involves a lot of physical movement and physical endurance. How long until I can jump back into my normal line of work safely?

I know y’all are the patients and not the doctor. I am simply looking for those who have experienced the recovery in some way.

Thank you all so much!!

It is my understanding that everyone is different. A few people have felt great right after surgery and want to sight see, then others do not feel so well. I know I would not have been able to do anything physical for at least 10-12 weeks, I also would not have been able to go back to a regular office at 2 weeks either. I would also suspect how long your incision is would affect your neck recovery and if you have any complications. You have youth on your side, so your recovery should be fast - but the Dr. told me no lifting anything over 10 pounds for several weeks. Good luck!!

Hi FlyAway!

I agree w/ everything sjlash said & will add that an indicator of whether or not your body is ready to jump back into the “rough” stuff is your endurance. Can you push yourself w/o pain or symptoms flaring or neck swelling increasing or extreme fatigue setting in? You may need to “test the waters” carefully early on to see how far you can push w/o paying for it later that day & the next. I would say wait at least 2 weeks post op to start this process, & a bit longer (4 weeks maybe) to really jump back in full tilt (including lifting heavier weight). That said, your doctor will also have an opinion on this so do ask to see what he says. Erring on the side of caution will only aid in faster healing.

I started back to minimal gym exercise & orthopedic Pilates 2 weeks post op & ran in a 15K, somewhat hilly race, 6 weeks after my first surgery. I was 58. For me, starting physical exercise that soon was not the best strategy. I think it slowed my healing. By 2 mos. (8 weeks) post op, I was feeling like my old self - energy & endurance had returned. My second surgery was shorter & my recovery a fair bit quicker - 6 weeks instead of 8. If you have bilateral ES you may have the same experience.

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Im curious about recovery as well and know everyone is different in their healing process. I work primarily a desk job part-time and trying to gauge how much time to take off. minimum to max? I know I need surgery and how much potential time off impacts when I might schedule it.

You should plan at least 2 weeks off work. Most people are able to go back part time after two weeks & some after 1 week. It will take 1-2 months for your energy to fully return post op. Recovery is a 2 steps forward 1 step back process & sometimes visa versa so can be frustrating. In the end, listening to your body & resting when it says to & maintaining the most positive mindset possible will help you heal more quickly.

Hi Snapple,
I had two separate exterior removal surgeries - the last one almost 6 weeks ago, the first one 7 months prior.

My first surgery was on a Friday so I had the benefit of 10 days for recovery before returning to my (mostly) desk job the following Monday. I only worked half a day on that Monday - I was just too exhausted, but was able to make it to work the rest of the week. Working depleted what ever energy I had so dinners were either take out or the meals and soup I made ahead of time. Cleaning and laundry could wait.

My second surgery was on a Tuesday and returned to work the following Wednesday for half day then worked full to the end of the week. Truthfully, I could have used a few more days this time around but I had no more paid time off left. Nor did I have paid leave for my recovery so I pushed it more than I would have liked. (two surgeries in one year eats up paid time off quickly.)

Bottom line - take the extra time if you can. Surgery on Friday is better than surgery midweek. If possible, schedule a week or more before paid holidays so you have extra time off. If your employer is flexible, then maybe start slowly after the first week if you are up to it. Most importantly, listen to your body.

Lastly, I have a few Netflix, Prime, Hulu, shows that I like but saved the new seasons to binge watch during my recovery. My ability to focus on reading was very limited. It helped to pass the days. All the best to you for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.


Thanks so much for all the input. When I had a hysterectomy and pelvic reconstruction a year ago, I took two weeks and short days after that. I wished I had taken 3 full weeks. At the time I scheduled it, I didn’t know I had disability benefits after the 1st week off and dont need to take any accrued leave. Based on what you all are saying, I’ll definitely take the 3 weeks this time. Maybe a couple extra weeks on a warm beach would be a good as well…I wish. Given Ill probably need a 2nd surgery later in the year, I probably shouldnt push my luck with my employer.

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