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melchski

Cycling after Endarterectomy /Vein Patch(graft) for External Illiac Artery

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Hi All

This year I underwent this procedure (May) after living with pain (even walking) for 10 years.  Partly found the confidence to have the surgery from this forum so thank you to all who replied.

Surgery was a success, I am now completely pain free and have even started running again (after 10 years...gees its hard and not because of the surgery)

However I have recently had an ultrasound whilst cycling(upright position on flat bars, hard sprints for 30minutes) and been told I should never cycle again if I want 'not undo' the surgeons' work.  The ultrasound showed the repaired section (7cm's +) is constricted with every pedal stroke hence if I cycle all would just re-occur.(or worse).  

Does anyone know of a person this has happened to? ie not allowed to cycle, even recreationally?  I am told an electric bike may be ok (why is that? You still need to pedal)

I would like to look into alternatives in the future, different positions (maybe recumbent?), is there anyone on the East Coast that takes on tricky cases/further specialised testing/possible bike build.

I'm rather devastated at the moment, I fantasised for 10 years of being pain free on my bike (fun touring and mountain biking, nothing crazy serious).  So now I'm pain free, but not allowed to ride.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

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Glad to hear the pain has gone, but bummer about the cycling. I've got no experience, but maybe if you asked around to see if there were any specialists in the area that also cycle competitively, or at least ride a lot. They may know how you could get around it. With their knowledge & the help of a physio they may be able to work out a bike-fit/design that could work. Then it's a matter of finding a good frame builder. Most good ones could build something custom to suit.

Where are you?

 

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My 2 cents..... give cycling/tri's away for one/two years. Place extra emphasis on stretching and take up ocean swimming....... and see what happens. You may be back on the bile and doing tri's sooner than anyone seemed possible.

PS: Don't really understand how it would come back.... but the point is.... don't give up...

 

Edited by IronmanFoz

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13 hours ago, melchski said:

 

However I have recently had an ultrasound whilst cycling(upright position on flat bars, hard sprints for 30minutes) and been told I should never cycle again if I want 'not undo' the surgeons' work.  The ultrasound showed the repaired section (7cm's +) is constricted with every pedal stroke hence if I cycle all would just re-occur.(or worse).  

Does anyone know of a person this has happened to? ie not allowed to cycle, even recreationally?  I am told an electric bike may be ok (why is that? You still need to pedal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great to see you had an improvement in running (and day to day life) with the surgery, that's fantastic!

Normally the surgery is performed with return to cycling being the main goal! There is still a lot unknown about the surgery, for example 50% of people have a normal looking artery in theatre despite all the tests showing reduced blood flow.

(I'm not a doctor but) I think you should test things out. A few 30-60 minute rides won't 'undo' anything. Treat based on the symptoms rather than any tests. The condition sometimes takes many years to worsen so I'd find it hard to see that a very small amount of cycling will cause any structural/long-lasting issues.

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22 hours ago, Aidan said:

Great to see you had an improvement in running (and day to day life) with the surgery, that's fantastic!

Normally the surgery is performed with return to cycling being the main goal! There is still a lot unknown about the surgery, for example 50% of people have a normal looking artery in theatre despite all the tests showing reduced blood flow.

(I'm not a doctor but) I think you should test things out. A few 30-60 minute rides won't 'undo' anything. Treat based on the symptoms rather than any tests. The condition sometimes takes many years to worsen so I'd find it hard to see that a very small amount of cycling will cause any structural/long-lasting issues.

This sounds like a sensible approach and seems to 'kind of' match what the surgeon is saying. Despite being an awesome vascular surgeon, he has only done a few of these procedures and his words 'doesn't know enough' about the long term outcomes.  I think each person who undergoes the procedure the grafts(3) (I had 3!! the length of damage was 7+cm long, right from belly button into groin, reinforced with some sort of plastic) is different and I also feel its true the long term outcomes have not been documented.  I'm only 41yo and that is also why longevity is the key.  I'm also keen not to 'waste' the next 10 years being scared and not riding at all.   I already lived a modified life for 10 years after diagnosis (IronmanFoz) so I am no stranger to patience and re-invention of self

FYI anyone following, I haven't done tris since 2005 and have no intentions on returning, but I do LOVE cycling for fun and fitness with emphasis now on comfort and the journey.   Eg I now have a 'gravel bike'(Giant Toughroad) and a mountain bike (plus my old tri bike converted to flat bars).  

If the surgeon has said 'get an electric bike' surely I could cruise around for 1-2 hours in an upright position and be ok.  After all the test I did involved smashing out sprints on the trainer for 30minutes

I'm currently based in regional NSW with plans to move to Newcastle in 6months but am also prepared to travel for tests/bike setups etc.

Initially (despite not being warned I may not ride again) I was told my full recovery may take 12 months, so I'm quite prepared to 'heal' for much longer than the 4 months post op that I am at now. (I'm already running, hiking, gym-ing, swimming, yoga, teaching aqua fitness, starting kayaking soon)

I think I may approach a bike shop to have a electric conversion kit added to my gravel bike as well as raise the bars as high as I can.

The fear is a big part of things, I do want to be sure I am 100% safe as its like I've been given a second chance at life, the surgery gave me back so much, I can't afford to muck this one up.  Next review is in 6 months and I'll take some design options to the surgeon and ask if the positions may be possible.

 

 

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I wonder if you would you be able to ride a recumbent trike (they are actually great fun - just not on group rides with "cyclists") the reclining position might put less pressure on the lower abdominal area. PS make sure it has a rear flag for the motorists to see - esp at the lights.

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1 minute ago, trifun said:

I wonder if you would you be able to ride a recumbent trike (they are actually great fun - just not on group rides with "cyclists") the reclining position might put less pressure on the lower abdominal area. PS make sure it has a rear flag for the motorists to see - esp at the lights.

Yes that is one position I'll be looking into.  The issue with my condition is my 'over developed' psoas muscle is what compresses the artery (well now the vein/artery/graft repair) as happens when you are in a forward leaning position/closed hip angle.   So leaning back/open hip I'm hoping will be ok. 

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