Building Muscle After my Tummy Tuck. Is This OK to Do or Will It Mess Up my Results?

About 4 years ago I lost about 100lbs and I finally got my tummy tuck surgery in the beginning of June. Im 20 years old and I didn't get the tuck with lipo so I still have somewhat of a fat/flabby back and sides while my front is very tight and flat. Now that I'm 8 weeks post op, I want to kind of combat that with diet and exercise geared towards losing fat and gaining muscle. Is this OK or is all hope lost of being flat all around?

Doctor Answers 10

Diet, Exercise, and Surgery

Congratulations on the weight loss and certainly all hope is not lost. You've already experienced the lifestyle changes that are often associated with losing weight (diet and exercise) and as long as your plastic surgeon is confirming that you are ready to being exercising again, there shouldn't be any problem moving forward with your personal goals in that respect.

There are times when patients who have tummy tucks (or liposuction) but do not take diet and exercise into the mix return a year or two later having gained weight and wanting to undergo a "touch up" or lipo in other areas where their weight has shifted. Things start looking a lot better when body contouring surgey is supplemented by diet and/or exercise to further the process and improve overall health. The best "surgical" results are obtained when the patient is motivated enough to change diet and exercise patterns in addition to the surgery.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Exercise after abdominoplasty.

If your surgeon is satisfied that your wounds are healed, you will not go wrong with diet and exercise. Remember that exercise can strengthen muscle, and dieting will not reduce skin, so be reasonable in your hopes and expectations. Also, you may want to use a compression garment (girdle) to address swelling for considerable time. I tell my patients that 60% of their swelling will be better in 6 weeks, and 90 % in 6 months, so it helps to be patient.




Without seeing any pictures or an actual exam it’s hard to really say what kind of results you are looking to get. In our practice we tell our patients that after 8 weeks you are able to go back to normal. Exercise all you want but, just remember you been out of commission for a while so you might have to work yourself up before completely going full force.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Building muscle after tummy tuck

By eight weeks after tummy tuck, there should be no problems with exercise and building muscle. Gaining muscle and losing fat are a great idea, however you might not experience much improvement in the flabby back and sides but don't let this discourage you.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

TT and Exersize

 Consider discussing your concerns with your surgeon. Normally at 8 weeks following a tummy tuck it is OK to start to slowly resume some physical activities. The bad news is that as a massive weight loss patient it is unlikely that exercise and toning will address the concerns you have over your flanks and back. You may require another surgical procedure of these areas to correct the fat/ flabby back and sides. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Building mucsle following tummy tuck.

Thanks so much for your question.  It is always a good idea to build back muscle following this type of a procedure.  I would say that you should double check with your surgeon but you should be able to start working on core strength at this point.  Hope this helps and good luck.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Building Muscle After Tummy Tuck

Usually patients are safe to begin working out again by the 8 week mark after surgery as long as they have had no complications that may have impeded his or her healing time.  Be sure to double check with your surgeon's office that you have the all clear to begin working out again but working out and eating right should not negatively affect the results of your tummy tuck.


Congratulations on your massive weight loss and congratulations on getting rid of the skin and fat from your abdomen. 


Do not give up hope! There is hope of losing excess fat from the sides and back from diet and exercise. So "gear up" and start exercising to gain muscle and lose fat! 

Given the fact that you are young your skin still has a moderate amount of elasticity left in it and it could bounce back. 


Good luck on your weight loss journey.


Thank you,


J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS

Working out after tummy tuck

I usually tell my patients that they will get the best results from a combination of what I do, how they heal, and their lifestyle.  At this point after surgery, you should be able to start working out and that should improve the surgical part of your result.use common sense and if it hurts don't do it.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Building Muscle After my Tummy Tuck. Is This OK to Do or Will It Mess Up my Results?

By six weeks after surgery your incisions will have attained 90% of the strength that they will achieve, so it should be fine to resume exercise, though I would check with your surgeon who can best verify that your incisions have healed at a normal pace.

By this time you may get some added change in appearance, but not likely any tightening in the areas that were not addressed in the surgery. Without seeing photos it is only a guess, but to achieve what you wish you make need to have the incision extended around the back, or at least some liposuction.

Thanks for the question. Please consider adding a photo. Best wishes.

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.