How Much Can I Exercise After Male Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I am going to have the tummy tuck op because 3 years ago I lost significant weight. Despite all exercise my waist still needs improvement. Will I be able to exercise again regularly and do long sets of ab exercises as I do now (not immediately after the op. but in a 3-4 month time period)?

Doctor Answers (52)

Activity and Exercise post Abdominoplasty : Get moving!

+13

Absolutely!  In 3 or 4 monthhs you can do as you please includiing sky diving and bungy cord junping I tell my patients.   I am a believer in early activity.  Even after large muscle repairs, I allow 100% activity in 4 weeks and begin gradually at  the gym in2 weeks.  i have my patients up and walking the same day as the operation and progressively from there.  i have never had a muscle separation or wound separation ever.  I have never had a pulmonary embolism in any of my over15000 operative patients.  Eary gradual exercise is key.  Walk dont run but get moving.  Your will do far better.


Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Exercise Program after Tummy Tuck

+11

I typically allow my patients to do brisk walking and light cardio at 2 weeks after tummy tuck. At this point they are still wearing their abdominal binders for support. As they are able the typically get back into full treadmill by 2 weeks. Weight lifting may not begin until 4 weeks and then it's very light. I think it's important to wait and refrain from ANY sit-ups or weight training that targets the abdominal muscles until at least 6 weeks. I think this allows ample time for the plication sutures internally to heal properly and gives less chance of "popping" or tearing a plication suture which can be painful and could possibly effect the contour outcome of the surgery. Also there is a higher chance of seroma formation when pushing too fast and rushing things after a tummy tuck.

I hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

What are the risks of exercise in the early post-op period

+10

I agree with most of the comments posted by the other plastic surgeons below.

You may wonder why we all have such strong opinions and post-operative care instructions for our patients. It is important to understand the risks of exercise in the early post-operative period following abdominoplasty.

Here's a quick summary - in no particular order.

First - any narcotics that you are using to control the pain can make working out dangerous. In my San Francisco area practice I advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery while using narcotic pain medication. This would likely include strenuous workouts.

Second - increase in heart rate and blood pressure can cause bleeding at the surfaces cut. This bleeding can be significant and can cause the need for re-operation or hospitalization. It can also greatly impact the final result of the surgery.

Third - Exercise, especially crunches, for post-op abdominoplasty can mechanically damage the muscle plication or even the skin closure.

For these reasons it is important carefully discuss a post-operative regimen including when you can begin exercise with your surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Exercise after tummy tuck recovery in Los Angeles

+8

most women can start exercising in about 3-4 weeks after a tummy tuck. abdominal exercises and sit ups are usually not recommended for at least two months after a tummy tuck.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Allow muscles to heal but exercise can even help if done properly.

+8

Clearly you need time for the muscles to heal together and this takes a minimum o f6 weeks.

There is great variation in the opinions of when it is best for you to resume exercise and so I would defer to your operating surgeon who will have the best knowledge of your anatomy (i.e., how far apart) and repair (i.e., how tight?) after surgery.

However, the correct exercise if done properly can not only reinforce but enhance the repair as well. Please ask your surgeon for quidance. However, I highly recommend core strenghtening exercises as advocated by Pilates and Yoga instructors; NOT the crunches as advised by body builders.

I hope this helps.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Consider what's being done prior to considering postoperative activity

+7

Your surgeon typically performs plication (tightening) of your abdominis rectus (abdominal) muscles during your abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Generally, you should avoid activity other than ambulation and light walking the first four weeks after surgery. This will generally allow your incision line time to heal without complications.

After four weeks I generally encourage my patients to start light to moderate activity. But because of the plication you should not perform other than light activity during this time period. After 6-8 weeks, most all exercise and activity can be resumed.

It's important to keep in mind that your tissues are not "healed", but are "healing" during this important time period. Only you will know how much tension and exercise your body can accommodate.

Jeffrey D. Hoefflin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

+6

Ask 10 plastic surgeons and you get 10 different answers....Here is what I tell patients.

We want to get you back to the gym/exercising, however, WE will be your personal trainer over the next 1 year. We will require that you get out of bed on the first day after surgery, every 2 hours, like it or not (most patients are sore after surgery, but not in so much pain that they cannot move around). After 2 weeks, we make sure you increase your activity to include 20-30 minutes of cardio a day, heart rate max to 140, treadmill or neighborhood walking. At 6 weeks, increase heart rate to 160. At months 3-4 slow return to pre-op fitness routine, including leg lifts and gradual increase in abdominal exercises. We coach patients along and increase, decrease their activity accroding to swelling, soreness, fitness level, etc. It is a TEAM approach that works well!

I hope this helps!

Dr. C

John Philip Connors III, MD, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You should get back to your normal routine

+5

After 3-4 months, you will have no restrictions, and should be on the way back to returning to your "pre-tuck" routine. You will notice a few things that make sense:

  1. After having taken a break from exercising for 6-8 weeks, you will be deconditioned, and it will take some time to build up your stamina
  2. Crunches and the like are not a problem (they do take some getting used to...) - it is the back extension and arching exercises that are done in some types of Yoga that are an issue. You just spent a lot of effort to tighten up the front of your trunk, so it makes sense that your ability to fully extend will be limited (this too gets better with time, but your stomach skin has to relax to allow this.)

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

+5

Like all surgeries you will need about 6wks to heal completely. However, recovery occurs in phases. You can usually begin some light cardiovascular exercise in about 2-3wks and some upper body exercise in about 3-4wks and do more from there. As for the crunches and abdominal exercises - it is best to wait about 3-6mo. We have a personal trainer that specifically deals with postop recovery. That is the best way to learn how to do core strengthening without hurting your surgical outcome. Always check with your surgeon as he or she will have their own preferences.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Exercise following tummy tuck

+4

Brisk walking 2-3 weeks and unrestricted exercise after 6-8 weeks is the general rule in my practice.  Of course, this differs from patient to patient.  Your plastic surgeon can help you make these very important decisions during your routine post operative visits.

Michael Orseck, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.