The doc said it would be okay to resume running after 6 weeks. Is this realistic timeframe? Will I need more time for TT?(photo)

Time frame to run again.. I have a half marathon 13 weeks after surgery. Is this going to be possible? I can run it in my current physical condition- but after surgery how soon can I begin to run again? I had damage from 4 c-sections and one up and down cut emergency c-section.

Doctor Answers 10

When can i start running after a tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question. 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 later 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, though this varies patient to patient. You can most probably return to running and exercise after 6 weeks if you´ve healed well. Best is to follow your surgeon´s advice, he or she will be the person following your recovery. Best of luck!

The doc said it would be okay to resume running after 6 weeks. Is this realistic timeframe? Will I need more time for TT?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs. Though you will likely be able to resume jogging and running by 6-8 weeks after your procedure a half marathon would be a lofty ambition for 13 weeks.  A tummy tuck is a large operation and one that you should allow an uninterrupted amount of time to fully recover so as not to compromise your results.  There will be many more races to run in the future.  Just my opinion.

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

Resume Running After a Tummy Tuck

For my patients, I have them wear a compression garment for 6 weeks and want them to wait until then before resuming any formal type exercise. However, by 13 weeks you should be ready for your half marathon. Building slowly as your body allows. Follow your surgeon's recommendations as he/she knows you best. Good luck.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Time frame to run again

After the 5 recommend week, you can start your physical exercise or sports activity. At this time the healing has already been cured. What is not recommend not to start to exercise or sport same was as before. Take your time and start slowly. 


Francisco Rodriguez Rosario, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck and running

I will usually allow patients to go back to light aerobics within about 4 weeks and then more vigorous activity within 6-8.  Best to follow your surgeon's instructions.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Running after TT

You will likely be able to run 6 weeks after a TT, but you will not likely run as fast as you do now. If your time on the half marathon matters to you, do the TT after the run. If it doesn't matter to you, you can do your surgery anytime. Best wishes. 

Return to running/activity after tummy tuck

There is a great variation in how soon a patient is able return to physical activity after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  I would agree with your surgeon that six weeks is the very earliest that I would consider allowing a patient to return to vigorous physical activity, such as running.  You should be aware, however, that it may take longer than 6 weeks to be safe and comfortable before returning.  In addition, I always recommend that return to activity should be gradual and stepwise.   Try not to set a specific date that you feel that you must run again to be satisfied.   I always encourage walking first to get a feel for your body and to avoid over-stressing your abdomen.  Be sure to check with your surgeon before you return to any vigorous activity.  Best of luck.

Eric T. Emerson, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and photographs.

I would recommend following your surgeons instructions because each surgeon can have slightly different aftercare protocols. Every patient recovers differently and at different rates but I tell my patients to wait, at minimum, six weeks before easing back into their regular fitness routine if they feel comfortable at this point. 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 64 reviews

Resume Running at 6 Weeks

Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks. You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

While there is every reason in the world to worry about healing, if you feel well at this six week period then you should be safe to run. If you find yourself concerned or worried at all about healing then it would be good to visit your surgeon for an examination of the healing process and make sure everything is going well.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Gradually Exercise...


Wound healing is a slow process! It will take at least one year for the tissues to reach maximal healing strength. 

But it doesn't mean that you can't do physical activities. Once the soreness passes, usually about two weeks, we recommend our patients to begin walking on a level surface. Even this activity will help you feel better. If you haven't been doing any activity since surgery, you should increase your physical effort  gradually until reach your usual effort level (cardio, run, treadmill, stair stepper, spin, swim).

Have a great day!

Alicia Sigler, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.