When Can You Exercise After Liposuction?

At 50, and active, will it do any harm to go back to my martial arts physical activities a couple of times a week, after the first 5-7 days?

Doctor Answers 11

No martial arts for one month

After liposuction, I prefer that the patients take 1 week off from work, and refrain from all physical activity that would be considered exercise for 1 month.  Before that you are very likely to hurt yourself with martial arts.

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After about a month or so

Moderate exercise can be resumed after one week, depending on the size of the area and how many areas are involved. However you may want to wait for about a month if it's sparring. But you should ask your surgeon.

Resume Exercises 5-6 Weeks Following Liposuction

                  Liposuction recovery varies from patient to patient.  We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work following this procedure.  Occasionally, patients are able to return to work even sooner.  Patients usually resume all of their normal activities within six weeks following surgery without restrictions.

                  We feel that exercise facilitates recovery and because of this, we encourage physical activity.  However, strenuous activity and heavy lifting are usually avoided for 5 to 6 weeks following liposuction.  In your cases the martial arts would probably fall into this category.  For this reason it’s probably important to contact your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to make an appropriate recommendation based on your post-operative progress.

Exercise after Liposuction

Exercise Guidelines after Liposuction

Here is the information I give my patients regarding the recovery process after liposuction including Smart Lipo and other lipo techniques.
Normal activity may be resumed at 2 weeks post operation to tolerance and that would include elliptical and light cardio.  In general, patients may return to office work 3-5 days after the operation, and 14 days for more active employment.  After the operation, exercises are recommended, such as walking immediately and progressive activities beginning on the 14th day, in order to minimize the adhesions between the skin and the deeper tissues. Walking, swimming, or a stationary bicycle can usually begin in a few days after surgery. Specific time periods for resumption of daily activities, work, and exercise with be further discussed by your surgeon post operation.
Early results are seen 10-14 days after surgery, but improvement continues for 4-6 months.  Persistent swelling and irregularities may be present for several months.  If antibiotics are prescribed, they should be taken as directed

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Wait At Least 3-4 Weeks Before Returning to Rigorous Exercise

While I always encourage my patients to not spend all their time in bed following surgery (leisurely activity minimizes the risk of deep clots in your leg veins and helps with swelling), I would not recommend doing any rigorous physical activity until about 3-4 weeks after surgery. This can even be longer depending on the extent of surgery and how you're recovering.  Therefore, that includes martial arts.


Of course there are many different types of martial arts, and you may be able to return to the kind you do sooner depending on their physical vigour (but not 5-7 days after).  For example, the gentle movements of non-contact tai chi might be okay to return to after 2 weeks, but definitely not something like judo or muay thai, which may necessitate more than 4 weeks due to the sparring element. Returning to vigorous exercise so soon after surgery will comprise your recovery, and 5-7 days is too soon.

Excercise after liposuction

You should not be involved in martial arts that soon after surgery.  Think about your results.  You are looking for improvement so don't be impatient.  Listen to your surgeon.  Your recovery period maybe shorter if you are in great shape.  Take your time so you can have the best result.

Exercise after liposuction

Depending on the surgeon, light walking may resume with a compression garment as soon as a couple of days after surgery, but your surgeon may say much longer.  Working out aerobically should be delayed for two weeks and more strenuous activity might be done at the same time depending on your surgery and condition. Check with your surgeon.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Way too early!

Going back to physical activity only after 5-7 days is way too soon. I usually recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after surgery. This allows for adequate resolution of swelling and helps mininmize the chance of seroma formation. Good luck. Dr. ES

Activity restrictions and limitations after liposuction

These recomendations vary tremendously among practitioners and the restrictions will depend on the extent of liposuciton performed and the number of areas addressed during the surgical procedure. In general light acitivity can commence at 2-3 weeks with unrestricted activity at 6 weeks.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Rest does not help after liposuction.


After doing liposuction in New York City, we tell our patients to listen to their body, and not do anything that is uncomfortable. The exact timing of course depends on what areas are treated.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.