Just had a tummy tuck with muscle repair, can I do stomach crunches at the gym?

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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After a tummy tuck procedure, it is important to follow the postoperative guidelines of your board-certified plastic surgeon. The rate limiting step after a tummy tuck is whether or not the muscle (rectus abdominis diastasis) was repaired. Many patients heal quickly after a tummy tuck and are ready to return to activity, but they often must wait if their muscle repair was extensive. Most patients gradually increase their activity levels in two week intervals during the first 6 weeks. You do not want strain the abdominal muscles during this time! At 6 weeks postop, you should not have any limitations. Every person does heal at their own pace, and you may heal quicker than others. It is essential that you slowly increase activity while listening to your body. If you feel pulling, stretching, discomfort, or pain, decrease your activity. Consult your board-certified plastic surgeon regarding his or her recommendations for you. Good luck in your recovery!

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck

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Talk to your surgeon. I am somewhat lenient but ask that ab work wait for about 4 to 6 weeks after a tummy tuck. Check with your surgeon's preference. Best wishes.

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Crunches after Tummy Tuck

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Thanks for reaching out.  I typically tell my patients to wait 6 weeks to get back to normal exercise which includes sit ups and heavy lifting.  The purpose is give your abdominal musculature time to heal with minimal stress.  I advise my patients they can start light cardio after only 2 weeks.
I hope this helps :)

John Paul Tutela, MD
Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

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Going to the gym after a tummy tuck

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This is something that you need to discuss with your surgeon. For my patients, I want them to wait 6 weeks before resuming formal exercise. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Exercise after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. Every surgeon will have his/her own preferences as to recovery for specific procedures. Healing after a tummy tuck is usually pretty straight forward.  There is a process of swelling and bruising that peaks at 3 days after surgery and then undergoes the first stage of major resolution in the first 2 weeks after surgery.  The lateer phase of healing takes place over the 2-3 months after surgery where everything really settles and softens.  It is after this time that we are getting close to the final result and patient can start doing exercise, though this varies patient to patient. The best person to advice you is your chosen surgeon. 

Crunches after TT

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Thank you for your question.I would recommend you consult with your surgeon seeing as they are the person who knows your background, medical history and exactly what they performed during your operation. Every patient recovers differently and at different speeds but I tell my patients to wait, at minimum, six weeks before easing back into their regular fitness routine. However, realize that your body may require some time to return to prior strength. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your recovery!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Limitations after surgery

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In my own patients, I typically advise waiting at least six weeks.  
However, the only person who should be dictating your postoperative instructions and limitations is the surgeon who performs the procedure.  Only he/she knows your background, your specific case, the surgical maneuvers planned and performed, etc.  While we online consultants aim to help as much as possible, it is not appropriately that we be dictating any aspect of the postoperative care for a patient with whom we are not familiar, nor have even met.
So, just to be safe, check with your surgeon.
Best of luck! Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews


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I don't let people do crunches for 8 weeks after tt.  I usually also tell the to increase their cardio and not waste time on crunches because their tummy is not going to get any tighter

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

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.