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 10

Post tummy tuck questions

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.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Listen to your body.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Activity Limited for 10-14 Days Post-op

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.

Activities to avoid after tummy time surgery?

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.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery and activity recommendations

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.

Tummy tuck activity restrictions and rationale

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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

After a tummy tuck listen to your surgeon.

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.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Activities after a tummy tuck surgery

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:

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Follow the direction from your surgeon


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.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

No vigorous workout and abdominal exercises for at least 3 weeks after abdominoplasty

I limit my patients activity for 3 weeks after abdominoplasty. I would not do sit ups or vigorous abdominal exercises for at least 6 weeks-you might pull out a stitch that was used to repair your abdominal muscles.

It is important that you walk and use your legs immediately after surgery to help avoid blood clots in your legs.

Garments are usually worn for the first week and then a lighter garment like spanks is used after that.

If the garment makes you uncomfortable then call your doctor. Sometimes a very tight garment can interfere with healing and blood supply and can have a negative effect.

If you pull out a stich you will feel or hear a pop and you will see new swelling on the abdomen, most likely.

Be sure to call and see your doctor with all concerns.

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.