• Remove ads on the forum by becoming a donating member. More here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Pre-Camino Surgery?

HBS60

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
August 2024 (planned)
Continuation of issues I started on my thread “Update on Camino Plans”, this one more focused on surgery.
I’ve been on cPAP for the last couple of years for mild sleep apnea. It’s been a struggle, and frankly, I don’t think I’ve benefitted much even if the AHI numbers are fairly low. Since I’ve been told I snore, I started to look for other options, so I had an ENT doctor evaluate me, and sure enough, I have a deviated septum to the left, large septal spur to the right, turbinate hypertrophy on the right, weak nasal valves, and dynamic collapse and nasal valve stenosis. I imagine this is a fairly common problems, and I’m all for having it surgically corrected, and hopefully, be able to stop the cPAP.

Problem is, that there’s been lots of delays in getting my pre-op clearance scheduled, then getting the reports, and my Dr is out of the office until early July. The scheduler told me that the earliest they could do the surgery would be July 9th, and I’m flying out on August 6th to Madrid.

I will be having a Latera implant as well as a septoplasty. From what I’ve read, it’s not terribly invasive, and barring complications, I should be able to recover in time for my flight and Camino, but admittedly this might be cutting it a bit too close. Hopefully, I might be able to ditch the cPAP machine (yay! I hate that thing!) but I’ve also read that I might need to keep using it even after the surgery. It might even help me tolerate the cPAP treatment better.

So, here are my options:
1) Have the surgery and take the cPAP machine with me anyway.
2) Postpone the surgery until I get back from my Camino (probably the safest option)
3) Have the surgery, use the cPAP for a couple of weeks afterwards, then see how I do without it, then decide whether or not to take the machine or not.
4) Just quit the cPAP since I don’t think I’m benefitting from it that much (and risk the ire of fellow pilgrims when I start snoring), then have the surgery when I return.

Currently I’m leaning towards #3.
Anybody here has experience with this type of surgery/procedure? I’m not worried about the procedures themselves, I’m more concerned about the timing, so any thoughts would be appreciated. Another factor is that the surgery will interrupt my training, and I don’t think I’ll be able to fully resume it after the surgery before flying out, so I might lose some ground. Hopefully the training I’ve already been doing should help. It’s a good thing that the surgery is not urgently needed so it can always be postponed, I just want to get it over with.

Thanks in advance!
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I get the point, but doctors tend not to know much about pilgrimages, and I’m curious to see if anybody has dealt with these issues and how they dealt with them, so I can get a better picture. And I did see the Dr, so I’m not asking for medical advice, but for experiences.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I think the point that @Barbara is making is whether or not your physician or surgeon would endorse a 30+ day, 500 mile trek shortly after surgery. I found walking the CF one of my greatest physical challenges and an endeavor that required me being in top condition.

It seems to me that an option #5 should be added to your list for consideration. Postpone your Camino until you are certain that you’re 100%. As disappointed as you might be by a postponement, maybe only a short one, you’ll be even more disappointed if you have to abandoned your Camino part way through.
 
I think the point that @Barbara is making is whether or not your physician or surgeon would endorse a 30+ day, 500 mile trek shortly after surgery. I found walking the CF one of my greatest physical challenges and an endeavor that required me being in top condition.

It seems to me that an option #5 should be added to your list for consideration. Postpone your Camino until you are certain that you’re 100%. As disappointed as you might be by a postponement, maybe only a short one, you’ll be even more disappointed if you have to abandoned your Camino part way through.
Postponing the Camino is certainly a reasonable option, except that the dates are extremely significant to me (besides, the plane tickets have already been bought). The Dr is aware of my Camino plans, and my original intention was to have the surgery early to mid-June, but unfortunately delays around pre-authorization, pre-op clearance have pushed the date into July. He did say that he would want me to be around for 10 days post-op before my trip, which would mean the latest possible date to have the surgery would be July 26, but I don’t think that would be prudent. Being that the dates are not negotiable and the surgery is not urgent, I would prefer to postpone it until my return. All that being said, I am curious about the experiences of anybody else having had the procedure (not necessarily just before the Camino), as I would have a better idea of what to expect from “on the ground” data.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I totally understand having pre-purchased tickets for flights, and also possibly not being able to afford private lodging, if that is the case.
That said, my opinion (if it were me) would be to postpone the surgery and take the c-pap, awkward as you think it is. OR see if your doctor would give you permission to spend a month on the Camino without it. If so, I'd stop worrying about bothering others in the albergues if you snore. Every albergue has snorers and people who choose to stay in them should be wearing earplugs anyway if they can't tolerate the noise.
Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you have a wonderful Camino!
 
Continuation of issues I started on my thread “Update on Camino Plans”, this one more focused on surgery.
I’ve been on cPAP for the last couple of years for mild sleep apnea. It’s been a struggle, and frankly, I don’t think I’ve benefitted much even if the AHI numbers are fairly low. Since I’ve been told I snore, I started to look for other options, so I had an ENT doctor evaluate me, and sure enough, I have a deviated septum to the left, large septal spur to the right, turbinate hypertrophy on the right, weak nasal valves, and dynamic collapse and nasal valve stenosis. I imagine this is a fairly common problems, and I’m all for having it surgically corrected, and hopefully, be able to stop the cPAP.

Problem is, that there’s been lots of delays in getting my pre-op clearance scheduled, then getting the reports, and my Dr is out of the office until early July. The scheduler told me that the earliest they could do the surgery would be July 9th, and I’m flying out on August 6th to Madrid.

I will be having a Latera implant as well as a septoplasty. From what I’ve read, it’s not terribly invasive, and barring complications, I should be able to recover in time for my flight and Camino, but admittedly this might be cutting it a bit too close. Hopefully, I might be able to ditch the cPAP machine (yay! I hate that thing!) but I’ve also read that I might need to keep using it even after the surgery. It might even help me tolerate the cPAP treatment better.

So, here are my options:
1) Have the surgery and take the cPAP machine with me anyway.
2) Postpone the surgery until I get back from my Camino (probably the safest option)
3) Have the surgery, use the cPAP for a couple of weeks afterwards, then see how I do without it, then decide whether or not to take the machine or not.
4) Just quit the cPAP since I don’t think I’m benefitting from it that much (and risk the ire of fellow pilgrims when I start snoring), then have the surgery when I return.

Currently I’m leaning towards #3.
Anybody here has experience with this type of surgery/procedure? I’m not worried about the procedures themselves, I’m more concerned about the timing, so any thoughts would be appreciated. Another factor is that the surgery will interrupt my training, and I don’t think I’ll be able to fully resume it after the surgery before flying out, so I might lose some ground. Hopefully the training I’ve already been doing should help. It’s a good thing that the surgery is not urgently needed so it can always be postponed, I just want to get it over with.

Thanks in advance!


I am not a medical professional. But I have suffered from a similar problem in past years. My personal advice based on my experience is Option #3.

After I had my nasal septum correction surgery, My wife told me I have some residual snoring issues. I solved this by using Breathe Right strips on the bridge of my nose each night. They hold the septum open another mm or two. But the difference in air flow is HUGE. They come in tan and translucent varieties, so they are not all that noticeable.

A good fall-back position is to have the surgery, use the CPAP if needed at home. Bring it, with the appropriate power supply adaptor or converted plugs for EU use.

With any luck the CPAP already has in international power supply built in. This is certified for 110 - 240 VAC and 50/60 Hz.

If you DO have this sort of device, then you merely need a plug adaptor to convert your two-flat plugs (US) to two round pins (EU). A short - say 3 foot - extension cord might be a sage idea too. You can connect your CPAP to the extension cord, then use the plug adaptor at the end of the extension cord. Plug adaptors are available on Amazon.

MANY pilgrims have this issue - or others requiring a CPAP. You won't be the first pilgrim showing up with one. While it imposes a weight and convenience penalty on you, it ought not prevent you from doing teh Camino.

As soon as you figure out that you do not need it, post it through the Correos to Ivar at Santiago to be there when you arrive.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
A lot of healing has to take place after surgery.
Healing takes a lot of energy.
If you are using lots of energy to do the Camino you just have not got much to spare for healing.
The Camino has been there and will be there in the future.
Your surgery is a once off, and you would be unfair to yourself not to give yourself every chance of a very good recovery.
I suggest you take it easy, punctuated by lots of rests and then a little bit of doing nothing.
Buen Camino for when you are fully recovered. Lydia
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I am not a medical professional. But I have suffered from a similar problem in past years. My personal advice based on my experience is Option #3.

After I had my nasal septum correction surgery, My wife told me I have some residual snoring issues. I solved this by using Breathe Right strips on the bridge of my nose each night. They hold the septum open another mm or two. But the difference in air flow is HUGE. They come in tan and translucent varieties, so they are not all that noticeable.

A good fall-back position is to have the surgery, use the CPAP if needed at home. Bring it, with the appropriate power supply adaptor or converted plugs for EU use.

With any luck the CPAP already has in international power supply built in. This is certified for 110 - 240 VAC and 50/60 Hz.

If you DO have this sort of device, then you merely need a plug adaptor to convert your two-flat plugs (US) to two round pins (EU). A short - say 3 foot - extension cord might be a sage idea too. You can connect your CPAP to the extension cord, then use the plug adaptor at the end of the extension cord. Plug adaptors are available on Amazon.

MANY pilgrims have this issue - or others requiring a CPAP. You won't be the first pilgrim showing up with one. While it imposes a weight and convenience penalty on you, it ought not prevent you from doing teh Camino.

As soon as you figure out that you do not need it, post it through the Correos to Ivar at Santiago to be there when you arrive.

Hope this helps.

Tom
I like your idea. This whole surgery thing was an effort to avoid carrying the cPAP, but I like the idea of carrying it for a few days, then, if not needed, ship to to Santiago. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. My machine has a dual voltage power block, and I have the European adapter, so I think I’m good. The question now is when will the surgery be scheduled? Tentatively, the scheduler was talking about July the 9th, which is a month from my walk. I’ve seen lots of videos of patients, it seems that a typical “back to normal” recovery time is about 10 days, which gives me a couple extra weeks to really recover. If the surgery gets scheduled later in the month, say July the 20th, technically I could still do it, but I would then prefer to postpone it after my return.
Thanks for all the responses, most appreciated!
 
Continuation of issues I started on my thread “Update on Camino Plans”, this one more focused on surgery.
I’ve been on cPAP for the last couple of years for mild sleep apnea. It’s been a struggle, and frankly, I don’t think I’ve benefitted much even if the AHI numbers are fairly low. Since I’ve been told I snore, I started to look for other options, so I had an ENT doctor evaluate me, and sure enough, I have a deviated septum to the left, large septal spur to the right, turbinate hypertrophy on the right, weak nasal valves, and dynamic collapse and nasal valve stenosis. I imagine this is a fairly common problems, and I’m all for having it surgically corrected, and hopefully, be able to stop the cPAP.

Problem is, that there’s been lots of delays in getting my pre-op clearance scheduled, then getting the reports, and my Dr is out of the office until early July. The scheduler told me that the earliest they could do the surgery would be July 9th, and I’m flying out on August 6th to Madrid.

I will be having a Latera implant as well as a septoplasty. From what I’ve read, it’s not terribly invasive, and barring complications, I should be able to recover in time for my flight and Camino, but admittedly this might be cutting it a bit too close. Hopefully, I might be able to ditch the cPAP machine (yay! I hate that thing!) but I’ve also read that I might need to keep using it even after the surgery. It might even help me tolerate the cPAP treatment better.

So, here are my options:
1) Have the surgery and take the cPAP machine with me anyway.
2) Postpone the surgery until I get back from my Camino (probably the safest option)
3) Have the surgery, use the cPAP for a couple of weeks afterwards, then see how I do without it, then decide whether or not to take the machine or not.
4) Just quit the cPAP since I don’t think I’m benefitting from it that much (and risk the ire of fellow pilgrims when I start snoring), then have the surgery when I return.

Currently I’m leaning towards #3.
Anybody here has experience with this type of surgery/procedure? I’m not worried about the procedures themselves, I’m more concerned about the timing, so any thoughts would be appreciated. Another factor is that the surgery will interrupt my training, and I don’t think I’ll be able to fully resume it after the surgery before flying out, so I might lose some ground. Hopefully the training I’ve already been doing should help. It’s a good thing that the surgery is not urgently needed so it can always be postponed, I just want to get it over with.

Thanks in advance!
Ask your doctor. Having others tell their experiences are nice but we are all different, with different reactions to surgeries and wildly different recoveries as well as how the surgery effects your body, how successful the surgery was, and how long you recover. Plus age differences, general health differences, conditioning differences. As the old saying goes, their experiences and 2 bucks will get you on the subway. Please ask your doctor. If you trust the doctor with a knife trust him with your recovery and making an informed decision.
 
Ask your doctor. Having others tell their experiences are nice but we are all different, with different reactions to surgeries and wildly different recoveries as well as how the surgery effects your body, how successful the surgery was, and how long you recover. Plus age differences, general health differences, conditioning differences. As the old saying goes, their experiences and 2 bucks will get you on the subway. Please ask your doctor. If you trust the doctor with a knife trust him with your recovery and making an informed decision.
I did ask the Dr during the initial visit. I know from experience that Drs don’t always know what it’s like, so it’s always wise to see what actual patients experience, to complement, not substitute for medical advice. Many times it’s the patients that can alert Drs of issues they are not aware of. BTW, I’m a retired Dr myself (different area of expertise) so I’ve learned (and have been educated) by patients’ experiences.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I did ask the Dr during the initial visit. I know from experience that Drs don’t always know what it’s like, so it’s always wise to see what actual patients experience, to complement, not substitute for medical advice. Many times it’s the patients that can alert Drs of issues they are not aware of. BTW, I’m a retired Dr myself (different area of expertise) so I’ve learned (and have been educated) by patients’ experiences.
I agree with what you say. I was a former pharma rep (Ok I now you probably hate me now haha) I had often been asked my advice on everything from PPI's and gout and IBS (the drugs I peddled). Of course I never said a word and always told the patients to speak to their doctors. But I would also hear some pretty outlandish things from others around me. I worked in alot of rural communities, some over 100 miles away from hospitals. They also suggested some homeopathic remedies that I thought, that can't hurt to try and some of them I did try and a few helped. I will also say that the doctors who practiced in those communities were some of the best and most dedicated doctors anywhere. It wasn't completely crazy to hear that a GP performed life saving surgery on a kitchen table. I always listened to them and learned alot when we I brought lunch!
 
I agree with what you say. I was a former pharma rep (Ok I now you probably hate me now haha) I had often been asked my advice on everything from PPI's and gout and IBS (the drugs I peddled). Of course I never said a word and always told the patients to speak to their doctors. But I would also hear some pretty outlandish things from others around me. I worked in alot of rural communities, some over 100 miles away from hospitals. They also suggested some homeopathic remedies that I thought, that can't hurt to try and some of them I did try and a few helped. I will also say that the doctors who practiced in those communities were some of the best and most dedicated doctors anywhere. It wasn't completely crazy to hear that a GP performed life saving surgery on a kitchen table. I always listened to them and learned alot when we I brought lunch!
No hate here, pharma reps do have their place and I appreciate their raising my awareness of new meds. My dad was a rep briefly when I was a kid, so I know they’re trying to make a living, just like all of us. The medical world is vast and complex, I do have stories to tell after practicing for over 30 years. I’ve now been retired for 7 years and I already feel outdated. It’s a very different world these days, and much harder to know whom to trust given that there are so many experts and “pseudo-experts”, so I try to walk the fine line of giving people the benefit of doubt and taking things with a grain of salt. It’s challenging but interesting, and it keeps me on my toes.
 
No hate here, pharma reps do have their place and I appreciate their raising my awareness of new meds. My dad was a rep briefly when I was a kid, so I know they’re trying to make a living, just like all of us. The medical world is vast and complex, I do have stories to tell after practicing for over 30 years. I’ve now been retired for 7 years and I already feel outdated. It’s a very different world these days, and much harder to know whom to trust given that there are so many experts and “pseudo-experts”, so I try to walk the fine line of giving people the benefit of doubt and taking things with a grain of salt. It’s challenging but interesting, and it keeps me on my toes.
You have hit the nail on the head! If you want to know why I left the industry send me a pm.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Not only should your doctor be consulted but any impact on your travel insurance as well. Are there any limitations/exclusions travelling after surgery or not following the doctor’s prescribed advice.
 
Not only should your doctor be consulted but any impact on your travel insurance as well. Are there any limitations/exclusions travelling after surgery or not following the doctor’s prescribed advice.
I haven’t thought about the travel insurance issue, so thanks for pointing this out!
 
At this point, I think it’s best that I postpone any surgery until my return from the Camino. Having had so many delays, not to mention how difficult and frustrating it has been to communicate with the Dr’s office or getting my messages returned, has soured me on the whole process. Researching the issues around recovering from surgery, which can be rougher for some people, at this point I’m leaning towards…nah, I’ll wait for now, I don’t want to add more stress to the Camino, and if I have to lug the cPAP machine all the way, so be it.
Also, next year I go on Medicare (I’m in the US), so it might be less costly to have the procedure then, if I do decide to have it done at all.
Thanks for all the input!
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Continuation of issues I started on my thread “Update on Camino Plans”, this one more focused on surgery.
I’ve been on cPAP for the last couple of years for mild sleep apnea. It’s been a struggle, and frankly, I don’t think I’ve benefitted much even if the AHI numbers are fairly low. Since I’ve been told I snore, I started to look for other options, so I had an ENT doctor evaluate me, and sure enough, I have a deviated septum to the left, large septal spur to the right, turbinate hypertrophy on the right, weak nasal valves, and dynamic collapse and nasal valve stenosis. I imagine this is a fairly common problems, and I’m all for having it surgically corrected, and hopefully, be able to stop the cPAP.

Problem is, that there’s been lots of delays in getting my pre-op clearance scheduled, then getting the reports, and my Dr is out of the office until early July. The scheduler told me that the earliest they could do the surgery would be July 9th, and I’m flying out on August 6th to Madrid.

I will be having a Latera implant as well as a septoplasty. From what I’ve read, it’s not terribly invasive, and barring complications, I should be able to recover in time for my flight and Camino, but admittedly this might be cutting it a bit too close. Hopefully, I might be able to ditch the cPAP machine (yay! I hate that thing!) but I’ve also read that I might need to keep using it even after the surgery. It might even help me tolerate the cPAP treatment better.

So, here are my options:
1) Have the surgery and take the cPAP machine with me anyway.
2) Postpone the surgery until I get back from my Camino (probably the safest option)
3) Have the surgery, use the cPAP for a couple of weeks afterwards, then see how I do without it, then decide whether or not to take the machine or not.
4) Just quit the cPAP since I don’t think I’m benefitting from it that much (and risk the ire of fellow pilgrims when I start snoring), then have the surgery when I return.

Currently I’m leaning towards #3.
Anybody here has experience with this type of surgery/procedure? I’m not worried about the procedures themselves, I’m more concerned about the timing, so any thoughts would be appreciated. Another factor is that the surgery will interrupt my training, and I don’t think I’ll be able to fully resume it after the surgery before flying out, so I might lose some ground. Hopefully the training I’ve already been doing should help. It’s a good thing that the surgery is not urgently needed so it can always be postponed, I just want to get it over with.

Thanks in advance!
Hi, Sorry, I just saw this. I posted on your other thread about the oral appliance (mandibular advancement device, or MAD) I use that seemed to treat my sleep apnea and actually cured my snoring.
It doesn't work for everybody, but it was a game-changer for me.

ps - there are some over-the-counter (send-from-Amazon) versions that fit in your mouth and are adjustable, but - while much more expensive - the one custom made for my mouth/teeth is way better.
 

Most read last week in this forum

Hi there. I’m on the Camino Portuguese and have a popped blister outside my big toe. The roof is still there. I walked today with a donut my wife made from lambswool. It was tolerable, but now is...
Hi- I have been slathering Gehwol Blue foot cream on to my feet each night on all of my Caminos. My feet seem to love it and happy feet make me happy. I am currently on the Frances, after...
Hi all! I am planning to do a camino in October this year with my parents, but my father is disabled so I came here for advice. He has an artificial leg so he can walk but not very much in day (he...
I have AuADHD and will be walking the Camino Frances starting Aug 21st 2024. Crowded restaurants with loud music and even louder conversation are my idea of hell. I get annoyed by the sound of...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top