Pain and Fatigue Shared Discussion Forum

exploratory laparotomy at age 30

Picture of David Houston
exploratory laparotomy at age 30
by David Houston - Monday, July 25, 2022, 11:17 AM




Thank you for orchestrating and contributing to this course.  I learned a lot, but my most meaningful takeaway is that there are better medical professionals out that take the time and have the capacity to understand deficiencies related and/or caused by the combination of age and CP.


In January 2018 my spleen was removed via exploratory laparotomy.  There were several complications during the surgery and was hospitalized for a total 79 days.  Subsequently, I had a hernia that spanned the length of the original incision (approximately 12 inches) which was repaired in September of 2018.  The mesh spans the approximate length and width of the rectus abdominal muscles.


I was/am in good shape physically.  I feel like I’m missing the power and coordination I had prior to the procedure.  Some of the issues are very similar to the experiences I had while teaching myself to walk in my adolescence.  The main ones are reduced balance and ROM/fluidity in knee and hip joints. 


Over the last 18 months I’ve made a concerted effort on 3 fronts.

1.       Abdominal and lower back strength

2.       Balance

3.       Adductor and hip flexor strength

Historically strength training has served me better than endurance training, but the decreased coordination seems to have brought me to a plateau which is notably lower than my previous ones.


Does anyone have suggestions regarding overall regiment modifications and/or muscle group specific routines that might help?



David Houston  

(Edited by Mckenzie Morgan - original submission Monday, July 18, 2022, 5:54 PM)

Picture of Debbie Thorpe
Re: exploratory laparotomy at age 30
by Debbie Thorpe - Monday, July 25, 2022, 10:47 AM

Hi David

My name is Debbie Thorpe, PT, PhD.  I am a physical therapist that specializes in treating adults with CP in an aquatic environment.  With your loss of some balance and coordination, the water would be a perfect environment for you to work out. The constant pressure of the water on your abdominal wall will both support and strengthen your abdominal muscles when you work out in the water.  The aquatic environment is very forgiving of balance and coordination difficulties therefore is a very "safe" environment in which to work out. Also working out in high chest deep water or actually swimming will strengthen your diaphragm, increasing your breath support and in the long term, improve your endurance.

I hope this is helpful. Aquatic training also builds long, lean muscles which is what you want.

I would be happy to send you aquatic exercises. My email is