Topic: Recovery Wait? Abdominal Surgery

I had an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) of Lumbar disk between L4/5 on April 1, 2009.  This means they went in from the front through a 5 inch incision, and moved EVERYTHING - in order to get to the spine.  (Major OUCH!)  My doctor isn't really familiar with the inter-abdominal pressure/breath support necessary to play the oboe.  So we really aren't sure how long I should wait before beginning to play again.   Any ideas, advice, or previous experiences anyone can share? Thanks!!

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Re: Recovery Wait? Abdominal Surgery

Sorry to be late in replying, but by now I'm sure you're back to some amount of playing. Abdominal incisions heal nicely within 4 weeks for gently playing oboe or any other wind instrument. Your musical return should be gentle and gradual, avoiding any pain around the incision during or after playing. As you feel more comfortable, increase the duration and intensity of playing, adding high and low registers and increased dynamic levels as you can comfortably manage. Endurance is the last thing to return, but gradual increases in playing time and intenstiy should do the trick. Hope you've been blowing your reed long before trying it on the instrument -- keeps the breath and embouchure muscles in shape while the abdomen heals.

Good luck --

Dr. Bill Dawson, bassoonist and teacher
IDRS medical consultant
Past President, Performing Arts Medicine Assoc.
Author of "Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy"

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Re: Recovery Wait? Abdominal Surgery

5 inch incision, and moved EVERYTHING - in order to get to the spine? Oh... That was really painful, am I right? But, I am sure that they made used of anesthesia. How is the person now?



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Re: Recovery Wait? Abdominal Surgery

The surgeon needs to open your abdomen. I think it is like a cesarean procedure when you are giving birth. So good luck to your surgery.

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Re: Recovery Wait? Abdominal Surgery

There are no pain nerves inside the abdomen, except for tugging on the intestines (and this was done when the patient was under anesthesia). Postoperatively, only the abdonimnal incision needs to heal, with the usual pain -- as I mentioned in a previous post.

The procedure has already been performed (read the initial post). I would expect that the patient is back to playing is usual fashion.

Dr. Bill Dawson, bassoonist and teacher
IDRS medical consultant
Past President, Performing Arts Medicine Assoc.
Author of "Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy"

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