Activities to Avoid After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

I had a full tummy tuck 12 days ago and I'm wondering what activities to avoid and how long ... As well I cannot stand straight yet is this normal? How do I know if I'm using my an muscles too much or too soon and if one does pull a mucsle or stitch out of a muscle how would one know???how long should I wear the garment and why did my nurse say the tighter the garment the better. ?? It seems to hurt more when I waer it tight. Thanks!!

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck recovery and activity recommendations

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Congrats on your new abdomen.  You will need to take care and watch your activity level following this procedure.  Generally, I encourage compression garment wear for 4-6 weeks postop.  You will gradually be able to stand up after 10-14 days.  Light activity (light aerobic activity) can be started when the patient feels up to it.  I also instruct patients to back off of any activity should they feel any pulling.  I always stress avoidance of activities that cause any sudden tensing of the abdominal wall for 8 weeks and then after that time a very gradual resumption of core body excercises.

Activities to avoid after tummy time surgery?

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Each surgeon has his or her own postoperative directions to be followed after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). There are however some generally accepted guidelines that most surgeons agree on. In the performance of a full abdominoplasty the skin and fat layer has been elevated off of the underlying muscle layer. This creates two large surface areas that have to heal and seal the space between the two layers. As long as the space remains open and the raw surfaces remain, drainage will continue. Drainage stops when the two surfaces have completely healed and no space remains tween the two layers. This normally takes between ten and fourteen days to occur. During this two week period if there is too much activity these two surface areas continued to shift back and forth over each other preventing adherence and delaying the healing process. For that reason it is best to plan on remaining home for two weeks and keeping activity to a minimal level to allow for the greatest chance of healing and the cessation of drainage. It is important to keep the wounds clean to prevent infection. Patient's should not sleep with their pets. This will help prevent infection. If the muscle has been tightened it is important not to engage in strenuous core activities for at least eight weeks. Aggressive abdominal exercises should not be performed for twelve weeks. Resolution of swelling is different from patient to patient. Most often the swelling is gone and the final result is realized within 6 -8months.
A well performed abdominoplasty can be a truly life changing experience. For patients to have the best chance for a good outcome and is very important to strictly follow the postoperative directions of their surgeon.

My simple and illustrated video may help you--learn more about tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures.

Listen to your body.

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To ktn,

Hi! Of course, everyone heals a little differently, and there are different types of tummy tucks. But here are some general rules:

1) Two weeks after surgery you should be able to stand up straight and move about quite freely.

2) One month after surgery you can return to your normal exercise routine.

3) Avoid a garment that feels too tight and that hurts. I don't think garments do much, anyway.

4) In 20 years, I have never had a patient "pop a stitch". So relax! You are very unlikely to do any damage.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Activities to avoid after tummy tuck

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Tummy Tuck Recovery

The first 2-3 days after surgery there is a good amount of pressure and tightness from repairing the stretched rectus muscles. The feeling is similar to a hard workout. We usually prescribe pain pills such as Norco (Vicodin) or Percocet and a muscle relaxant such as Soma or Flexeril. You will need help from someone the first 2-3 days. A drain is placed which is removed at approximately 1 to 1.5 weeks. Most people usually go on with light normal activities at that time. No heavy lifting or exercising for 6 weeks. The results will be visible right after the procedure. It takes several months for the swelling to subside. Generally, patients wear the compression garment 6 weeks and longer if necessary.

Best of luck, Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

After a tummy tuck listen to your surgeon.

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You have hired a surgeon to take care of you because you trusted his skill and judgment.   Listen to him. My patients are eased back into activity and generally are fully athletically active by 3 months.  But every patient is different and we titrate activity to the specific course of the patient.

Activities after a tummy tuck surgery

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen and tighten your waist. They can address the loose muscle into it on the wall as well as extra fat and stretch marks in the abdomen. In our practice, we provide our patients with two compression garments to help them during the recovery process. These garments apply even compression throughout the treated areas and provide support. We asked our patients to walk as much as possible after their surgery. This exercise will help open their lungs, prevent some fevers, and stimulate their appetite. We ask that our patients wait for at least 5 to 6 weeks after their surgery before returning to the gym for exercise.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Activity Limited for 10-14 Days Post-op

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Abdominoplasty removes excess abdominal skin while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles.Patients can anticipate limited physical activity for ten to fourteen days following surgery.I typically tell my patients bathroom and kitchen privileges initially with slow resumption of normal activities over the next two weeks.Patients can usually return to work in two weeks if no strenuous activity or heavy lifting is involved.After eight weeks, they can resume all their normal activities including heavy lifting.It’s important to go slowly at first and listen to your body.
Patients typically wear an abdominal binder for three weeks following surgery.This garment should fit snugly, but not too tight.This minimizes swelling and increases comfort.Patients should gradually resume an upright position as tolerated.
For many patients, abdominoplasty is a life changing experience.This procedure improves self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence which ultimately results in an improved quality of life.

Tummy tuck activity restrictions and rationale

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It is not specifically the strict weight of lifting that concerns us but the use of the stomach muscles. I have had one person. who was accustomed to having a bowel movement everyday, strain so intensely that they ruptured the muscle repair.

Our concerns with lifting are related to two features:

1.The potential for bleeding in the first 24 hours and then again between 7-10 days
2.The possibility of rupturing the muscle repair. This can occur anytime for 6 weeks after surgery.
However, the limitations are subject to interpretation and, in my practice, I advise patients to be cautious for 2 weeks. When lifting children, I ask that friends or partners place the child in your lap or that you use your legs and thighs to lift.

Post tummy tuck questions

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Every surgeon suggests different things for post-op care, therefore you should really call your doctor's office. In general, I have patients wear an abdominal garment for 3-6 weeks. I have them limit aerobic acitivity for 3-4 weeks ,and then heavy lifting and sit-ups for 6-8 weeks. Patients usually are told to keep slightly bent for about a week.

Follow the direction from your surgeon

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The best advice is to follow the instructions from your surgeon. However, in most cases, I tell patients that it takes about one week to stand up straight. You should not lift anything heavy (more than 5 pounds) for the first six weeks. Basically, your body will tell you if you are pushing it too much. As much aerobic (walking) activity that you can do is great. Good luck.

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.