When can I get back to working out after a tummy tuck? If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, you’re probably asking a question like this. Getting back to an active routine of running, working out, and lifting weights is important for many people who undergo a tummy tuck procedure.
Although everyone is different and healing times will vary based on the individual, there are some general guidelines that should always be followed. These guidelines are in place to allow your body time to fully heal so that when you return to your active life, you do it safely without any complications. Let’s explore some of the common questions surrounding tummy tucks and physical activity.
When can you sit up after a tummy tuck?
After your surgery, you’ll be able to sit up and your abdomen will be covered with a thick protective bandage. You’ll actually be in the sitting-up position for a good bit of your initial recovery. It’s recommended that a post-op patient sleep in a slightly upright position (with both feet and head raised) for the first few weeks after surgery. Maintaining a slightly bent abdomen will give your incisions a chance to heal without any pulling or pressure.
When can you stand up after a tummy tuck?
In the first week after surgery, rest will be extremely important and you’ll be encouraged to sleep (in that upright reclining position) as much and as often as feels good. However, walking is also an important part of the healing process. In the initial days after surgery, when attempting to walk short distances, it’s a good idea to have someone there with you in the event you become lightheaded or need to sit down quickly.
Although in everyday life we aim for straight, correct posture, in the first week after surgery, you’ll want to stand a different way. Just as you’ve kept the abdominal area protected while you sleep by not stretching it taught or laying flat, you’ll want to keep that similar “beach chair” position when you walk. In the first week you should walk every day to keep blood circulating properly, but just as much as you feel comfortable. Over the course of the next two weeks, you’ll begin to gain back your stamina and feel ready to return to normal walking and work.
How long after a tummy tuck until I can work out?
While you can start moving and walking in the first-week post-tummy tuck surgery, working out will need to wait until you have more time to heal. Most patients generally heal to the point where they can begin working out after six to eight weeks of recovery time. Working out after a tummy tuck is a gradual process and to begin you’ll want to follow a post-tummy tuck exercise plan that is approved by your doctor. Exercise after a tummy tuck should begin with less strenuous movements than you may have been used to pre-tummy tuck.
Weight lifting after a tummy tuck needs to be especially timed to match your body’s healing. There should be no weight lifting or heavy lifting of any type for at least six to eight weeks. This is because lifting, especially objects that are on the ground, places a strain on the abdominal region. This also goes for childcare duties, so parents of small children will need to secure help with lifting little ones for at least two months post-surgery.
Although 6-8 weeks is a general guideline for beginning workouts again after a tummy tuck, it’s best to consult with your plastic surgeon for specific advice on your procedure. For instance, if a patient has a hernia repair at the same time as their tummy tuck surgery, they will need to wait longer for certain exercises, particularly moves like sit-ups.
Exercises After a Tummy Tuck
To begin getting back into your exercise routine after a tummy tuck and 6-8 weeks of recovery time, you want to begin with moves that don’t engage the core. Focus on general cardio where you can get used to raising your heart rate again, such as walking and exercise machines like ellipticals and stationary bikes. From there you can move on to weight training that just involves the legs, chest, and arms. If something ever feels uncomfortable or unusual, it’s best to stop and move on to a different move.
“As a general rule,” explains Dr. Cat, “I always tell patients to listen to their bodies. If they do something that causes swelling or discomfort, stop doing it and give it a little more time.”
What happens if you lift too much after a tummy tuck?
There’s a good reason why you’re advised to not lift heavy objects as your body heals from a tummy tuck. This movement places pressure on the abdominal region and can result in incision bleeding or rupturing. This can result in unnecessary scarring in the region. Any exercise movement that puts strain on the skin, muscles, and tissue before they are fully healed also runs the risk of damaging the positive effects of the procedure and may lead to complications and the need for revision surgery. As you can see, there’s plenty of proof to take things slow and always follow your doctor’s advice.
Faster Recovery Begins with the Right Tummy Tuck Doctor
Most patients are anxious to get back to their usual active lifestyles and workout routines. But did you know the surgical technique applied to your surgery can make a significant impact on your tummy tuck recovery timeline? Dr. Cat’s years of experience have allowed her to develop a meticulous and gentle technique that results in quick recovery without complications. This allows her patients to get back to working out and resuming their daily activities sooner than later. The surgical technique also has a lot to do with a patient’s post-op pain, so it’s essential not to skimp on the cost or look for a bargain tummy tuck procedure since your comfort and recovery are at stake.
With Dr. Cat, you can feel confident that you are in capable hands with a respected surgeon who has spent decades refining her technique. To learn more about undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, reach out to Dr. Cat’s team, who are happy to answer any questions you may have.