Many assume that after a tummy tuck they will want to take it easy, avoid physical activity, and going out in public in general. Surprisingly though, the opposite is usually true! After the operation most patients are eager to return to physical activities as soon as the pain from the procedure subsides. This is usually within one to two weeks post operatively, a time when patients often find themselves with more energy and motivation to be active as well.
It is important to mention that your surgeon will explain their exact timeline and postoperative recommendations with respect to returning to normal routines and physical exercise. Typically, though, you should be able to begin cardio exercise about three to four weeks after the operation. This means you can go back to running and cycling, things like that, while things like abdominal crunches and weight lifting should be avoided until approximately six to eight weeks post surgery. This is simply because they are more strenuous activities, and although you may feel fine, your body, on the inside, still isn’t completely healed. Your abdominal muscles require time and patience to fully heal.
Along with your surgeon’s post-operative recommendations, there are other factors that will play a role in determining exactly when you will be able to return to the gym for your normal exercise routines. These include things such as: the type of abdominoplasty procedure performed, your exercise habits and routine pre-operation, your personal genetics, and healing time. There are many types of tummy tuck procedures, ranging from a mini tummy tuck with a small incision, to a circumferential tummy tuck with an incision extending the entire way around the lower abdomen, above the pubic hairline, meeting in the middle of the lower back. As you can probably imagine, patients who undergo a mini tummy tuck will have a shorter healing time, and be able to return to weight lifting and abdominal exercises much sooner than those who undergo more extensive procedures. Secondly, those patients who had dedicated weight routines pre-operation will likely be able to return to their routines sooner than someone choosing to start a gym regimen post-operation. Finally, everyone heals differently. It is important to listen to your body and your surgeon’s recommendations post-operation and give yourself enough time to heal before starting to exercise again.
As a general guideline, patients can typically begin walking at two to three weeks and many find that it helps eliminate the remaining pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with the surgery. Typically, at four to six weeks post-operation patients can return to activities like light aerobics, upright biking, or incline walking. By around six to eight weeks, usually patients are able to return to full aerobic activities like running, swimming, and stair climbing. Most surgeons will actually recommend strength training post-operation as a way to help the healing process and achieve optimal results post operatively.
It is always advisable to set up a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon and Dr. Edelstein or Dr. Jindal at Edelstein Cosmetic in Toronto would be more than happy to meet with you to address your specific questions and concerns regarding abdominoplasty, or any other cosmetic procedure you may be interested in.
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