Gynecologic surgery--how soon can I ride??

I’m having outpatient surgery at the end of the month and my doctor (who is of course very non-horsey) recommends minimum of 3 weeks out of the saddle. The procedure is a LEEP after moderate dysplasia and seems to me to be fairly innocuous. I questioned MD’s 3 weeks recommendation and she said bare minimum 10 days and then only at a walk.:eek: She’d prefer 2 months–I said “but it’s the start of show season!” and she said that she is aware that horse people are “dedicated.” :lol:

Anyone want to chime in? MD’s concern was extra bleeding, slowing of healing, etc. My concern is my gelding losing his mind and/or motivation if we’re not marching forward with his training. I’m usually a pretty good judge of my body and what seems doable but I’m worried that I might be underestimating the time needed to heal.

I do LEEPs. See how much bleeding there is with the procedure. If practically none, I personally would tell a patient a day or two. If it takes a while to get the bleeding under control, then I’d say more like a week or two. Not every leep is the same.

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Really??? Thanks!

Can you elaborate more one what you mean by taking a while to get the bleeding under control? Is the main concern about riding breaking loose the clot and then re-bleeding and then an increased risk of infection?

Is a LEEP the same thing as a cold knife cone? (I know ive heard both a lot and I think for some reason theyre similar). I had a cold knife cone done 2 ish years ago and my doctor(also non horsey) recommended 3 weeks as well. However, I had just brought my horse to school with me for the first time and was excited to ride. I started riding after 2 weeks(I was still bleeding at the time). Dont know if it was related or not, but I was still bleeding at 3 weeks and had to go to the ED to get checked out. (HORRIBLE hospital…told me I had cervical bleeding, gave me tylenol and sent me on my way…)

No harm done in the long run. Good luck!

Oops, just did some research and they arent the same thing.

I think I was 3 weeks after mine. But moreover it was after the dr had done a follow up check. But then I am very over cautious and even though I was working as a rider I did realize that my reproductive health far outweighed the value of the $15/head I was paid at the time.

Follow the dr’s advice, who as you said has experience with horsey patients. You can always wait and be fine when you resume, you can’t always prevent complications when you rush.


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Thanks y’all!

For clarification, my doctor’s only “horsey” experience is with stubborn patients wanting to get back in the saddle quickly. She, herself, is very, very non-horsey and we had to discuss the mechanics of what’s involved with riding. I didn’t even attempt to get into the differences between dressage and jumping with her! :wink:

I’m not overly cautious and usually just do what my body tells me is ok and that has served me well so far after many injuries. That said, I’m not exactly the picture of clear-headed right now as I sort through the emotional crap that this dredges up. Future reproductivity is absolutely not a concern at all, though, and I suspect that I’m quite different from most women in that respect.

You don’t want to undo and have to have redone the surgeons work. 3 weeks, while it seems like an eternity is really not that long in the grand scheme of things. Riders are riders and surgeons are surgeons, so I would go with the their reccomendation. Scar tissue, incomplete or poor healing is not neccessarily something you would feel. Even if children are not in future as they were not in mine, you don’t want to ultimately lose more time and have to have a more complicated surgery because you did not listen to the surgeons advice.

A LEEP involves electrocautery. Cold knife cone is no cautery. Anyway, what I meant regarding the bleeding–I’ve done some LEEPS where I do the procedure and the operative site at the cervix is bone dry. Those are the ones that I’d say can get on and ride in a day or two. Then I’ve had other LEEPs where the cervix just kept bleeding and oozing after excising the tissue, requiring more cautery to make it stop, as well as application of various products to make the bleeding stop. those are the patients I would want to wait a couple of weeks. When you have the procedure, as your doc how it went. You might have an idea–if they’re mucking around for a while after removing the tissue, then probably wait a couple weeks to ride. If they do the procedure 1-2-3, and you get up and leave, probably little bleeding and you can ride in a couple days.

Yes, the main concern would be the clot getting dislodged and the patient rebleeding. Infection is less of a concern for me than bleeding is. Regardless, I tell patients not to put anything in the vagina for 3-4 weeks after the procedure.

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We usually tell patients nothing in the vagina for two weeks, mainly because we are worried about the scab over the cervix coming loose. Most of the time bleeding is mild and not an issue, and not to scare you, but sometimes it can be significant. I would probably advise staying off a horse for about two weeks to allow more time for things to heal and decrease risk of bleeding. If it was me in your position, though, and knowing my personality, I might push it a bit depending on what my bleeding was like. But then again I’m the crazy woman who showed in green working hunter with a temporary cast, fresh hardware and staples in my arm one week after surgery.

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to all for your advice.

BO and I had a talk tonight (she hasn’t been privy to what was going on even though we’re pretty close) and she is going to be a PITA (pun intended!) about making sure that I don’t get back in the saddle too quickly. She even offered to ride my boy while I’m recouping and considering he used to be hers and she “rehomed” him for a reason, you know she must want me to not worry about him. I have a lesson tomorrow and I’ll see if my trainer can do a couple of training rides while I’m out and if I schedule chiro for the beginning of that period, then maybe this time can be put to really good use.

Thanks again and I <3 this BB!

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Just wanted to update in case anyone needs LEEP vs pony addiction info in the future.

Procedure went really smoothly with minimal bleeding during and after. Mild cramping afterwards but well-controlled with Aleve (but if I was late on a dose, I could feel it). I didn’t ride or lift anything or even move fast for a couple of days. I did ride on day 3 post-procedure (walk/trot) and frankly, that was too soon. But on the plus side, because I was a crampy and so focused on my gut, for the first time EVER, I really felt what my core needed to do for a proper dressage sitting trot (hey, you’ve gotta find a silver lining, right?). Anyway, today, I’m sore again, more so than before so yes, riding even mostly at a walk with a smidgen of trotting was too soon. I’m back to behaving and will give it a few more days before doing too much, probably won’t ride for another week unless I keep it to just a walk.

I truly hope that no one else needs this info, but if you do and/or you need more detailed info, just pm me.

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I just joined this site so I could thank you for this information! I go in next week for my LEEP due to CIN2/severe dyspl. Hope you’re doing well now. This has been a pretty scary ride so far.

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Sending you lots of positive juju. It is scary. I recommend you take someone with you to drive home. I didn’t take a friend. I regretted that decision about halfway home. My recovery went very well but I had a friend who had the procedure a month later and she experienced two weeks of heavy bleeding. Take care of yourself and make sure you have backup.

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