I'm looking for advice on heavy lifting. 16 weeks post op. Can I injure my tummy tuck at this stage of my healing?

Post op 16 weeks BA BL TT. Resumed easy exercise as per doctor's approval at 8 weeks. Started with cardio, then added 5 lb weights then as exercises got too easy I keep adding weight to my lifting routine. At 16 weeks I'm easily deadlifting 80 lbs. am I going to fast? Someone reminded me that still being numb I might not feel pain or injury to my abdomen. Is this true? I've never done crunches or anything like them since sx. Just lifting free weights and cardio that doesn't involve high impact.

Doctor Answers 10

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover & Caring for Others

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. 
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Mommy Makeover - Post-Op Heavy Lifting?

Thank you for your question. You should be fine to resume more intense exercise by this point, but I think it is best to have permission from your plastic surgeon. They are much more familiar with the specifics of your surgery and recovery so only they should be giving you clearance. Good luck with your recovery. 

Post op exercise

At 4 months post op, you are fine to return to exercise. It sounds as if you've approached in exactly the correct way -- easing back into your routine slowly and listening to your body. Just keep it up and all should be fine. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Exercise at 16 weeks after TT

Hi.  We allow our patients to do any abdominal exercise they wish after 3 months (12 weeks) post-op.  Since you are past this point, you should be able to do your weight lifting routine.  Golf, tennis, yoga, pilates are all also OK.

All the best,

Heavy lifting after a mommy makeover.

Specific instruction should come only from your plastic surgeon but in my practice patients are asked to avoid exercises that target the abdominal muscles for six weeks. Over the ensuing six weeks they can increase activity so that by 12 weeks full athletic activity is permitted even very heavy lifting.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift , Tummy Tuck, Mommy Make-over

See your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for follow up and concerns as you continue to heal.
After you have completely healed from a tummy tuck procedure you can absolutely body build. Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will guide you through the healing process and tell you each step of the way what is safe and when. After you are completely healed and ready to work out again, the more in shape you become the better the results should look. Be careful to closely follow your surgeon’s recommendations after the procedure and listen to your bodies signals as well. If the stomach muscles are also tightened you will be restricted for an amount of time before you should do heavy lifting or strong core workouts.
Again, sk your Surgeon who is following you these questions.

4 months post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (4months post-po) the swelling have to be minimal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
If after six months post-op, I recommend you send us your photos, to give you more information about how we can solve this problem.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

I'm looking for advice on heavy lifting. 16 weeks post op. Can I injury my tummy tuck at this stage of my healing?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your succesful surgery!  At 16 weeks you should be healed enough to resume any of your prior exercise routines.  Talk to your surgeon as they should clear you for all activity as they know the full details of your recovery. Hope this helps

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

4 months post op

At this point in time most patients should be able to get back to their normal workout routine.  Make sure to check in with your PS as she/he has been following your recovery and knows what you should and should not do.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Resuming full activity after surgery.

The standard time frame doctors recommend that patients hold off from full activity after a TT with muscle approximation is 6 weeks.  It is usually 4 weeks after a BA or BL.  At 16 weeks, you should be able to do any and all activity without restrictions.  As always, check with your plastic surgeon to be sure there is not something specific about you which would require more recovery time before resumption of full activity.

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.