Does Being in Good Shape Prior to a Tummy Tuck Aid in Recovery Time?

I am an avid runner/exerciser. In fact I will have just ran my 3rd marathon not too long before I plan on having surgery. I am curious if being in good shape will help me have a faster recovery time from a "Mommy Makeover." I know it will be at least 6 weeks before any strenuous exercise plans. Just curious.

Doctor Answers 19

Tummy Tuck Recovery?

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Thank you for the question  and congratulations on your fitness level and your decision to proceed with mommy makeover surgery.

Although there is no science behind my comments,  I think that  generally speaking patients who are physically and emotionally in “good shape” to better after major surgery.

However, despite being in good shape you are about to undergo major surgery which involves a significant physical and emotional recovery. A few words of advice may be helpful:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Does being fit aide recovery?

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My experience shows that patients who are physically fit have better recoveries after surgery.  My only caution is nto not get discouraged.  It seems that the more physically active patients are before surgery, the more they expect of themselves.  Don't get discouraged if you are not able to do much right away.  It's normal and you will be able to get back in shape quickly once your body has recovered.  Good luck.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Exercise and Tummy Tucks

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Dear Megan,  The better shape you are before surgery, usually the faster and quicker you will recover from your Tummy Tuck.  With any surgery, all parties involved need to do everything they can to optimize their readiness for proceeding into the OR.  For the surgeon, that means knowing what the problem is and choosing the correct procedure to treat the problem.  The OR team needs to have all of the right equipment and ensure that it is proper working order.  For the patient, it is taking good of care of your body and mind before surgery.  From your description, you are doing your part.  Your surgeon is a lucky plastic surgeon!  Good luck.

Better shape, better recovery

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The better shape you are in before surgery, the faster you will recover.  Your body will recover quickly and your result will be that much better.   


Mommy Makeover and Fitness.

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Great question.  Any level of fitness will make recovery from surgery easier.  With a mommy makeover that involves a tummy tuck will slow you down a bit but even if you have a full muscle repair you should be back to your full work outs no later than 6 weeks.  If you have a NO Drain tummy tuck with a rapid recovery technique, yyou will find that you can get back to working out very quickly.  I usually allow my patients to get back to the gym at a week.  At that time they start on limited exercises such as a spin bike, light lap swimming or the elliptical machine.  Fast walking works as well.  From there, my patients start working up to harder exercise.  The only restriction I place on them is to be careful with their abdomen (avoid heavy duty crunches and lifting) and let pain be their guide. 

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Does Being in Shape Before a #Mommy Makeover Speed Recovery?

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Being in Shape Before a Tummy Tuck means you are likely to have less complications during the surgery.
Although everyone recovers differently, generally speaking, patients that are in good physical condition prior to the surgery have better recoveries. However, this differs case by case so don’t be upset if you aren’t healing as fast as you expected. Also the phases of healing take a similar time and overdoing it too early can actually delay your healing time.
Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more.
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. 3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated.
You will be encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory.

Being in shape prior to tummy tuck

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Yes, being in excellent physical condition helps recovery from tummy tuck and recovery from surgery in general.

Does Being in Good Shape Prior to a Tummy Tuck Aid in Recovery Time?Answer:

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I have seen most patients that exercise regularly do recover a bit faster than those that dont...however...I have also seen the avid fitness patients have a hard time recovering and they tend to get back into it too soon, feeling that they can't  take a week or two off...And this can delay their recovery as well...So do yourself and your investment a favor...relax and recover and follow your doctors instructions!!

Good Shape

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Being in "good shape" aids in everything. I assume you mean good physical fitness, excellent nutrition, no health issues, and managable stress in your life. You should do well and we wish you the best with your surgery.

Physical shape prior to surgery can affect outcome

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Typically, patients who are in better physical shape will recuperate better and faster from surgery with lower risks of many issues, a finding which is somewhat intuitive. However, some of these individuals feel too good that they may not adhere to the restrictions in activities as well as they should which can result in elevation of risks for some problems.

It is also important that after surgery, you should be on a well balanced diet with a lot of proteins and vit C. This is not a time to be on a calorie restricted diet.

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.