Preparing for Nephrectomy/Major Surgery

So do you prepare for a major surgery like you would for an A Race?

Not really, but healthy weight and strength pre-surgery aid the rehab process

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Sorry to hear this. I had this surgery when I was 9 years old, so back in 1981. I remember it being a tough ordeal, but hopefully your situation is different. Mine was an emergency surgery and they had to make a massive incision to get my kidney out before it exploded.

I hope you have a speedy recovery. If it helps, a cycling buddy told me I was lighter since I only had one kidney. :rofl:

Laparoscopic robotic. 5 wounds with the largest 3-5 inches. Much more humane now. Was set for first race in May. Plan to taper down my training and do ramp test 2 days before and then it’s off the bike for 4 weeks. Start back for week of easy and then if goes well another ramp test to start training for the second half, Lord willing.

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Yeah, I would personally not even think about a ramp test, or even structured training, any time soon.

Recover, get back on the bike when the doc says it is OK and just ride for awhile. Regain your strength and take it slow.

Good luck…hoping for a fast and complete recovery for you!

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My major stomach surgery happened too fast for me to change plans so I had a TT which I would normally call B race. But whilst I did ride I done it at about 80% rather than 95%. My A race was about 2months after my surgery and I was about to start chemotherapy so I cancelled, as every nurse told me I’d be near dead. On hindsight I should have ridden though. I did do a few B type races a month or two after where I knew how chemo was actually affecting me. Which resulted in my then fastest 25miles.

Hoping no chemo. I want my cardio fitness optimized for day of surgery. That’s why I plan to treat it like a race with a full taper. Respect, by the way. I take all things I get with thankfulness and never want to regret how a spent a day or effort. Trying to take this as a mountain I didn’t expect to climb but now that I will, I want to optimize my prep and recovery. The toll the surgery will take probably has a TSS of like 250 in one hour :joy:


Yeah, that’s a good way to look at it. Definitely wish you the best of luck with it

I’ve had various surgeries over the last decade or so. Most recently to screw together a broken hip (neck of femur), but prior to that I had metalwork for a broken spine, and a pleurectomy following repeated pneumothoraxes. Wearing a heart rate monitor and having training data has shown me that it takes a good while for me to be really fully recovered. I’m not sure of all of the mechanisms driving this, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not just the period of low activity. So my recommendation would be to really not rush back, be kind to yourself for as long as your body needs. Returning to exercise as you are able will surely help your recovery, but don’t push it, and don’t aim to flip a switch back into the state of ‘I can resume full volume and intensity’, feel your way back into it in a graduated way.

I hope it goes well for you!


Awesome. Very helpful. I was surprised b y the mental strain effect on training earlier this week.

Surgery completed. No sign of spread elsewhere. Higher grade, but no invasion so still very low likelihood of any future issues, but will get set up for long term follow-up. Now 3 more weeks of waiting to get back on a bike. Will start water walking in the pool in 1 more week, and started walking the dogs yesterday. Goal is now Bleeding Kansas Gravelduro in October. Really fun race on a great course with timed segments rather than overall speed. Have done well in the past and hope to do well again this year.

Watching heart rate variability and sleep quality to see my total stress took about 5 days to get down to where it wasn’t dragging me down. Stating to feel normal again after 7 days.



Yeah that’s great, well done! Took me literally a couple of months to get my Garmin stress score and resting heart rate back to normal after hip surgery, so it sounds like you’re doing much better!

(In my case it’s hard to know how much is down to poor sleep and lack of mobility, but regardless, kudos!)

Got on the bike the first time Friday. Stress score -12! I’m right there with you. It was interesting, the heart rate jumped to about 140 just starting to pedal, then fell within a minute to about 120 and then slowly rose back up.

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Glad to hear that you’re back on the bike - well done! Now, just don’t go too crazy with it, there’s no great rush - better to play it cool and make steady progress than to cause an annoying setback.

So what does slow return look like? I’m going to do zone 2 rides for 2 weeks, slowly building duration to 1 hour and then ramp test 6 weeks after surgery.

I’m sure that the right rate is different for everyone, even between those who have had similar surgeries. My mistake has been to do something, think “well that felt really OK” and then go for something a lot bigger the next time.

My main recommendations would be to not set any specific targets until you’ve established a good understanding of how you’re responding to the work, and to really pay attention to the effects a day or two after a workout. If the workouts aren’t setting you back or tiring you out then great, but don’t launch into e.g. a stretch of five days straight of hard work.

I think that we have a real advantage over non-athletes when recovering from stuff because we are quite tuned into our bodies and what’s an OK level of pain and fatigue, and what’s worrying. The only downside is that we’re used to toughing it out a bit, and tend to be impatient to get back to how we ‘should be’.

Anyway, best of luck to you, and disclaimer disclaimer I’m not a medic, so I might be talking nonsense.

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Good advise. Thanks

3 weeks is very early to start strenuous exercise post-nephrectomy. Need at least 4-6 weeks for fascia to heal completely. You risk getting hernia through the incisions.


3 weeks does indeed sound short but from my own experience I would talk to the doctors. The nurses as nice as they are were telling me 6-7 weeks at least after my stomach op which on hindsight was a bit too cautious. I saw the doc about 5wks after the op and he told me that I should have been back on the bike already. He didn’t have to tell me twice. Doctor’s Orders | Ride | Strava

I’ll close this a similar hash tag about myself #notmedicallyqualified :joy:

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