After a Tummy Tuck, Are There Any Long-term Dangers from Traumas to the Stomach, Such As from Impacts or Exercise?

When reading the description of tummy tuck surgery, I read that they "tighten" the muscles, which gives me the impression that something bad may happen if trauma is suffered to the region. After the normal tummy tuck healing period has passed and stiches removed, are there are long-term dangers due to trauma to the stomach, such as from a punch or car accident? Would one be able to do normal exercise or, for instance, spar boxing after such an operation or would activiites need to be limited?

Doctor Answers 8

Risks after tummy tuck

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Once the initial healing has passed, patients should be able to engage in all physical activity.  With respect to contact sports, such as boxing, I would advise a longer recuperation period of about three months with gradual resumption of activities.  The risk from a car accident would be in wound disruption and would be highest in the initial weeks after surgery.  In a preop patient who requires a tummy tuck, the muscles are loose and the operation tightens them to the appropriate condition.

Tummy Tuck and Trauma?

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Thank you for the question.

Most of my patients are able to return to strenuous exercise including contact sports and martial arts  several months after tummy tuck surgery.   In theory, at least,  they are returning to these activities with a stronger core after abdominal wall “reconstruction”. There are no long-term restriction of activities or lifestyle.

Of course, similar to patients who have not had tummy tuck surgery, they are susceptible to  abdominal wall or intra-abdominal injury after significant trauma.

I hope this helps.

Susceptibility of a Tummy Tuck Muscle Repair to Blunt Trauma

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Blows to the abdomen with or without Tummy Tuck urgent are dangerous. The famous magician Harry Houdini was extremely fit and was in the habit of challenging men to punch him in the stomach. He died from the lat such punch due to a supposedly ruptured gut or appendix. Thousands die yearly from blows to the belly causing spleen or liver damage. 

After the muscle repair the tummy skin reattaches to the overlying skin with scar tissue which distributes any pull on the muscles to a wider area than just the linear muscle repairs. This means you can engage in a lot of normal activities. However, a sudden blow to the belly can pull permanent stitches through the muscle lining, cheese wiring, and cause bleeding in and over the muscle. So if you plan on getting kicked or  punched in the belly a tummy tuck may not be for you. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Potential risks after a tummy tuck

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As far as hurting yourself after a tummy tuck, you shouldn't have any problems from a slight fender bender or mild blunt trauma to the abdomen.  The healing process is pretty much complete after 6 weeks, so any mild injury to the abdominal area shouldn't really harm you.

Tummy tuck surgery doesn't increase one's risks to later trauma or exercise

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Following a tummy tuck, there are no increased risks or dangers such as from trauma and exercise as compared to someone who had no surgery at all. My recommendation is to be careful for the first 8 weeks after surgery.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Once tummytuck is healed, there are no restrictions

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i know of no reason to be concerned about dangers or restrictions after abdominoplasty. for my patients, this is about six weeks after the surgery. a return to all normal, vigorous activities should be expected.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Are there any long term dangers after a tummy tuck?

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After recovery from a tummy tuck there are no long term dangers or restrictions. You can perform all activities you would perform otherwise.

Recovery from Tummy Tuck

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After you are healed from your tummy tuck, there really are no restrictions or worries form exercise.  During the first six week after surgery, I encourage patients to slowly build up on cardio type exercises - starting with simple walking, etc.  After the six weeks, patients can build on abdominal exercises and return to a full exercise program.


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.