Will exercise after Tummy Tuck cause scar stretching?

To get best scar recovery should I avoid all exercise except walking for 12 weeks? I typically do P90X combined with Insanity workouts preop but need to find exercise that won't stretch my scar afterwards. Not sure if jumping jacks or yoga would be too much.

Doctor Answers 7

Returning to Exercise after TT

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With #abdominoplasty, we have our patients start on vitamins and supplements two weeks before and two weeks after to support preparation and post-op healing. Then after surgery, 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.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


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Yes. Avoid stretching your skin excessively for 8-12 weeks from the time of your surgery.  Mother nature simply cannot be rushed.  Let your scars heal before you stretch them....you won't regret it.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Robert Shenker MD FRCSC

Exercise after tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. Excess scar can develop when increased tension is placed on it. It is best to wait at least 12 weeks after tummy tuck before intense work outs like P90X. You should have your board-certified plastic surgeon clear you for work outs and contact sports after tummy tuck. You can still walk and do lighter exercises that do not strain your abdominal area. 

Scar results

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it is a great idea to take time off from your exercise regimen after a tummy tuck.  Excessive exercise can result in distortion of your scar. You should refrain from strenuous activities for 6 to 12 weeks but you may exercise during that period. 


Will exercise stretch a tummy tuck scar

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Exercising in general should not typically stretch the scar. If your plastic surgeon closes your abdominal incision in a "tension-less" fashion using a multi-layered approach, significant stretching should not occur. I tell my patients not to start "core" exercises for 6-8 weeks post op, cardio is allowed 2-3 weeks post op. Your P90X and insanity workouts are very high impact so you should refrain from those activities for at least 8 weeks. Good luck.

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Will exercise after Tummy Tuck cause scar stretching?

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Thank you for your question. After the Tummy Tuck operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will have stiches and bandages which will be removed after the 10th day. You can start to do your daily activities 3 days after the operation but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Will exercise after Tummy Tuck cause scar stretching?

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Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck surgery. Timing to return to specific types of exercise will vary from one patient to another. Best to check with your plastic surgeon for specific advice.  

 In our practice, I ask patients to start walking from day one. Lower extremity exercise, such as use of stationary bicycle, weights, lunges... can be resumed at the two-week mark (sometimes sooner depending on the exact operation performed and how the patient is doing clinically).  Returned to upper body workout and running usually begins 4 to 6 weeks post op.   Within 2 to 3 months you should be able to return to all types of exercise (gradually and "listening to your body") without causing scar stretching.

 Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

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.