When Can You Exercise After Liposuction?

At 50, and active, will it do any harm to go back to my martial arts physical activities a couple of times a week, after the first 5-7 days?

Doctor Answers 15

Exercise after liposuction

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When liposuction is done for an awake patient with local anesthesia, patients are usually sore and pain isn't very common. I tell my patients to begin light walking the day of their procedure, as long as they don't feel light-headed or dizzy and are with someone. It may be walking around the house or a stroll through the neighborhood if the weather is nice. I encourage patients to let their bodies guide them, but to engage in some light movement daily. Patients routinely report that they were sore and uncomfortable, but felt much better after moving. Martial arts may mean something strenuous, or not, depending on what you're doing. I always tell patients that "bouncing" activities will take weeks to re-engage in. But, always follow the advice of your surgeon.

San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

After about a month or so

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Moderate exercise can be resumed after one week, depending on the size of the area and how many areas are involved. However you may want to wait for about a month if it's sparring. But you should ask your surgeon.

No martial arts for one month

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After liposuction, I prefer that the patients take 1 week off from work, and refrain from all physical activity that would be considered exercise for 1 month.  Before that you are very likely to hurt yourself with martial arts.

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Follow Your Surgeon's Instructions

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Congratulations on maintaining an active lifestyle. That's an important part of getting the most out of liposuction. Your plastic surgeon is the person who knows your particular case the best and should be the one who provides instructions about the timing and type of exercise you can do. I wouldn't recommend participating in martial arts only a week after your procedure. I do encourage my patients to do light activities in the first week and gradually build up to more strenuous exercises. I usually suggest waiting a month before swimming, weight training, jogging, or doing other similar vigorous exercises or contact sports.

Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Exercise after lipo

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Martial arts can be quite intensive, and you'll need to refrain from any intense activities for at least a two to four weeks. It would probably be safer to do low intensity activities, such as walking, for the first week. However, ask your surgeon. They may have a different opinion.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Exercise after Liposuction

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Thank you for your question.  I ask that my patients refrain from any exercising and/or heavy lifting for 4 weeks following their liposuction procedure.  Patients can typically return to work in 48 hours, but I stress the importance of no exercising and heavy lifting for the first month since partaking in any of these activities can increase your risk for a complication and increase your post-operative swelling.  Recovery is crucial to your healing process and should not be rushed.  

With that said, I would defer to your operating surgeon to discuss their specific post-operative and recovery protocols.  

Resume Exercises 5-6 Weeks Following Liposuction

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                  Liposuction recovery varies from patient to patient.  We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work following this procedure.  Occasionally, patients are able to return to work even sooner.  Patients usually resume all of their normal activities within six weeks following surgery without restrictions.

                  We feel that exercise facilitates recovery and because of this, we encourage physical activity.  However, strenuous activity and heavy lifting are usually avoided for 5 to 6 weeks following liposuction.  In your cases the martial arts would probably fall into this category.  For this reason it’s probably important to contact your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to make an appropriate recommendation based on your post-operative progress.

Exercise after Liposuction

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Exercise Guidelines after Liposuction

Here is the information I give my patients regarding the recovery process after liposuction including Smart Lipo and other lipo techniques.
Normal activity may be resumed at 2 weeks post operation to tolerance and that would include elliptical and light cardio.  In general, patients may return to office work 3-5 days after the operation, and 14 days for more active employment.  After the operation, exercises are recommended, such as walking immediately and progressive activities beginning on the 14th day, in order to minimize the adhesions between the skin and the deeper tissues. Walking, swimming, or a stationary bicycle can usually begin in a few days after surgery. Specific time periods for resumption of daily activities, work, and exercise with be further discussed by your surgeon post operation.
Early results are seen 10-14 days after surgery, but improvement continues for 4-6 months.  Persistent swelling and irregularities may be present for several months.  If antibiotics are prescribed, they should be taken as directed

Wait At Least 3-4 Weeks Before Returning to Rigorous Exercise

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While I always encourage my patients to not spend all their time in bed following surgery (leisurely activity minimizes the risk of deep clots in your leg veins and helps with swelling), I would not recommend doing any rigorous physical activity until about 3-4 weeks after surgery. This can even be longer depending on the extent of surgery and how you're recovering.  Therefore, that includes martial arts.


Of course there are many different types of martial arts, and you may be able to return to the kind you do sooner depending on their physical vigour (but not 5-7 days after).  For example, the gentle movements of non-contact tai chi might be okay to return to after 2 weeks, but definitely not something like judo or muay thai, which may necessitate more than 4 weeks due to the sparring element. Returning to vigorous exercise so soon after surgery will comprise your recovery, and 5-7 days is too soon.

Excercise after liposuction

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You should not be involved in martial arts that soon after surgery.  Think about your results.  You are looking for improvement so don't be impatient.  Listen to your surgeon.  Your recovery period maybe shorter if you are in great shape.  Take your time so you can have the best result.

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.