Why Do Different Doctors Recommend Waiting Longer for Exercise Post Tummy Tuck?

Why do some doctors on here think its ok to do light cardio two weeks after a tummy tuck and yet others say 6 weeks? Had a tummy tuck 3 weeks ago and my doctor says that I cannot elevate my heartrate for 6 weeks. I am ready to go to the gym to do treadmill-just walking and lightly. Is this ok?

Doctor Answers 5

Exercising after surgery

REcommendations for return to normal activities are not itched in stone.  The recommendations are based on the difficulty or the ease of the individual patient's surgery, obviously the muscles and tissues affected by the surgery and the doctors experience with previous patients.  In my opinion light treadmill walking 3 weeks after a tummy tuck is reasonable.

Enjoy your journey.

Dr. ES

Exercise after Tummy Tuck

Post-procedural protocols will vary from surgeon to surgeon which are based on a number of factors including surgeon experience and comfort levels, gestalt, and research-backed data.  In our practice, we generally tell our patients to refrain from any exercise for period of two weeks in order minimize the chance of developing seromas or fluid collections.  Thereafter, light exercise/cardio is encouraged. No heavy weight lifting is permitted for at least 8 weeks, at which point normal exercise regimes may be resumed.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

No standard for advice on when to exercise after abdominoplasty

Every person is different, and every surgeon has his or her own philosophy about post operative schedules. With a tummy tuck, the initial concern is bleeding or fluid buildup if the heart rate or blood pressure are elevated. Most would agree that 2 weeks is about right for this precaution. After 2 weeks I tell my patients that they can begin light cardio such as walking, treadmill, etc. The second issue is the muscle repair. We know from hernia surgery that the healing time before subjecting the muscles to strain is 6 weeks, so that is the typical advice for returning to vigorous exercise and weights.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Exercise post tummy tuck

You should always follow your own doctor's advice as they have reasons for their recommendations.  Personally I allow exercise that elevates the HR/BP after 2 weeks because at that point I am not worried about this causing bleeding as it could in the first 2 weeks.  I do restrict all abdominal exercise and straining until 8 weeks because you need to let the muscle repair reach it's fullest strength as if you had a hernia repair.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Different Opinions about resuming exercising after Tummy Tuck

You can keep flipping your coin until it comes up with the side you want and do what you want. I think if you trusted a surgeon to operate on you, you should trust his opinion as unreasonable as you may think it to be. You truly do not need to solicit permission on RealSelf for you to break your surgeon's orders - just do it. If you get away with it - great. You won (whatever it is that you won...). If you end up with a blood or fluid collection or a broken muscle repair stitch - You lose. Now you will either have to come up with "the dog ate my homework" type excuse of what happened or come clean. Either way - longer recovery, more expenses, possible additional surgery.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with walking 3 weeks after a Tummy Tuck but I abhor sit ups, crunches and yes - Tae Bo (we had a patient who was accidentally kicked in the solar plexus doing it and tore a few of her muscle repair stitches...) for a long time after a Tummy Tuck.

Use common sense and consult with your surgeon.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.