Does exercising help swelling go down in the abdomen?

At 3 months post op full tummy tuck, is exercising beneficial to help the remaining swelling go down or does no matter how much exercising you do swelling occurs when your body is ready? I am exercising and swelling is diminishing but I was wondering if exercise contributes to help in swelling. Also at 3 months post op should I wear my compression belt while exercising? Thank you for your responses.

Doctor Answers 3

Swelling after tummy tuck

You may worsen swelling if you exert yourself too much during exercising. You should follow your surgeon's instructions but generally I recommend that you begin cardio type physical activity at 3-4 weeks and strenuous physical activity (like lifting weights, abdominal crunches) until 6 weeks after surgery. You can wear the garment if it helps.  

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Exercising After Tummy Tuck

I am a strong proponent of exercising after surgery.  I allow my patients to exercise as soon after surgery as they choose.  Exercising increases blood flow to all areas of the body.  This increase in blood flow helps to remove the fluid that results in swelling.  Exercising early leads to better long term results.

Depending on how much fat there is can depend on how long it takes swelling to fully resolve.  Thinner patients often take longer because there is less tissue and thus less blood vessels to remove the fluid.  It is not uncommon for it to take 6 months for swelling to fully resolve.  I would not recommend wearing your compression garment while exercising. 

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Exercise and swelling after a tummy tuck

Thank you so much for your question about your tummy tuck.

Exercise is beneficial but it can make any surgical area swell a little.
Over-exercise (pain, increasing discomfort) will make you swell more.
This isn't ideal for healing.

I tell my patients to wear the compression garment if they feel better with it on when exercising. Some people do, some don't. Check with your surgeon that this is ok for you.

Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.