“One-Hour Surgery Turned into Four Hours”: Bodybuilding Legend Flex Wheeler Recently Shared the Details of His Critical Medical Treatment

Published 10/20/2022, 3:17 PM EDT

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Born in 1968 in Fresno, California, Flex Wheeler is a retired IFBB professional bodybuilder. He won the Arnold Classic four times and was also described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the greatest bodybuilders he had ever seen. However, in 1999, a diagnosis changed his life forever.

The bodybuilding legend has suffered several injuries, causing him to undergo as many surgeries in his career. As a result, Wheeler continues to live in pain and agony. Sadly, he even went through an amputation in 2019.


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The fate of Flex Wheeler

Flex Wheeler‘s health is quite a cause for concern right now; the major problem is in his kidney. He is suffering from Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis which is a type of serious kidney disease.


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“{The doctor] said ‘when I went in there, it looked like a bomb went off,’” Wheeler said, speaking in a podcast recently and continued, “So, the one-hour surgery turned into four hours.” Not to mention, Wheeler appeared for the podcast from the hospital bed itself; it was also after his recent shoulder injury. 

In 2019, Wheeler had his leg partially amputated. Despite that, he still continued to workout normally.

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“I’m still having a GI problem, but right now it’s the kidney problem because it’s really unstable,” Wheeler said. The kidney problem is a pretty major issue for him; it is also affecting his other surgeries. 

Wheeler during his prime time

Flex Wheeler has never won the Mr. Olympia title, but has still created quite a name for himself in the bodybuilding community. Legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman even praised him for his competitiveness in bodybuilding contests.


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At every stage, he went all guns blazing, but sadly, it wasn’t enough for a Mr. Olympia title. However, Wheeler does have four Arnold Classic and five Ironman Pro titles in his backpack.


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Despite all the adversities he is facing, Flex Wheeler continues to fight. Remembered as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time today, we hope he heals from his pain and life resumes normalcy for him soon. Take to the comments to wish Flex Wheeler a speedy recovery.


Written by:

Rahul Goutam Hoom


One take at a time

Edited by:

Melroy Fernandes