Patients undergoing a tummy tuck generally do so to achieve a firmer, slimmer waist. No matter the reasons, you should still maintain a healthy lifestyle following a tuck, to keep those sleeker results.
Because of this, many patients often wonder how soon they can return to their normal exercise regime after undergoing a tummy tuck procedure. Regular exercise is obviously a good choice, going back to a very rigorous schedule too soon after a tuck, or any surgical procedure, can often lead to a more difficult recovery.
Doctors usually stress the importance of starting back slowly, and many will provide a proposed schedule that will get you back in the game properly. Here are some general guidelines that will help you get back on track, as well as helping the recovery process.
Two Weeks After Surgery - Once soreness has faded, you can start engaging in light activities such as walking. This will also let you start to get your body moving and active.
Four Weeks After Surgery - If weightlifting is part of your regular exercise routine, you can resume this in moderation. Light weights should be used to avoid aggravating or tearing the incisions. You can add more weight and/or repetitions over time.
Six to Eight Weeks After Surgery - For abdominal exercises such as crunches, you may need to wait for up to six months to starting this activity again. While the abdominal muscles will be almost healed - about 90% - these muscles must be 100% before you subject them to strenuous abdominal exercises.
While you may feel well enough to go back to your normal routine right after your procedure, it is not necessarily a wise move. You should try to adhere to the outlined schedule. This will help ensure that you have the best post-operative results.
For those who have had a less extensive tummy tuck, without their abdominal muscles sewn together, the above schedule can be shortened. It is always best to ask your physician what exercise schedule is most appropriate for you.
By rushing back to a rigorous exercise routine, you are at risk for a number of reasons including:
You should work with your physician after your tummy tuck procedure to ensure that you are returning to your exercise routine properly so as not to risk any complications.
- The medications you are taking to relieve pain can act much like drinking alcohol, causing you to lack muscle control or coordination, which can make workouts dangerous.
- During a strenuous workout, your blood pressure and heart rate increase and can cause bleeding at incision sites, which can lead to complications, even the need for additional surgery.
- Exercises such as crunches can damage the skin and incision closures, as well as the stomach (abdominal) muscles.
Dr. Jan Zemplenyi is a cosmetic surgeon and owner of Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery in Bellevue, Washington where he has been preforming tummy tucks since 1989.