Exercise and Abdominplasty

I've just had a standard abdominoplasty with MR and flank lipo. I'm having a lot of trouble sitting still. How long before I can: 1. Do modified isometric exercises like a modified squat? 2. Start slow walking/cycling? 3. Begin training for my next half marathon? 4. Start back to Crossfit and weightlifting? 5. Rock climbing?

Doctor Answers 8

It does need time to heal.

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I advise patients not to exercise other than walking for 6 weeks postop. Trouble is, if you tear the muscle repair you get a pain like a stitch in your abdomen for 2 months. That would really set you back. The muscle repair is effectively a hernia repair and it is going to take a while to heal.

Canberra Plastic Surgeon

Exercise after abdominoplasty

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Hi ShadyLane

You are best to discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

The stitching of your abdominal muscles in the midline needs about 6 weeks to heal and will be sore with serious exercise for about another 2 more weeks (to 8 weeks post op).

I advise patients to walk only for the first 4-6 weeks. Then to get into more substantial exercise that does not use your abdominals too much - such as a stationary exercise bike. Start gentle jogging etc at about 6 weeks but be prepared to back it off for a week if there is any discomfort - better to lose a week now than to tear a stitch.

So in direct response to your questions - slow walking or cycling within weeks. The rest is likely to be 8 weeks post operatively, although a slow start to your half marathon training could start at 6 weeks. This all assumes that your plastic surgeon is happy with those plans :)

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe


Exercise after tummy tuck can be a challenging subject

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Yours is a common concern.  You have likely worked hard to be healthy and in an effort to get the most out of your surgery.  Then you have the surgery and you are asked to STOP doing all of the things that helped you get where you are.  It is important at this time to take a step back and understand that no matter what your surgeon suggests (and he or she should be your guide), it is likely to be a short time in your long lifespan before you can get back to doing all of the things that make you healthy.  There are no specific rules based on good scientific evidence but it is, in my opinion, better to ease back in to exercise when cleared by your doctor than risk a complication from overactivity.  Best of luck!

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Exercise and Abdominplasty

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Specific questions like these should be addressed to your surgeon, who knows you, knows what was done, and has followed your progress. I let patients walk as much as they wish as soon as they are able. Most surgeons would ask for 6 to 12 weeks for some of the activities you describe. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Exercise after an abdominoplasty

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Your plastic surgeon is the best source for answering your questions.  For my patients I allow light activity at one week, building up to some light physical activity, walking on treadmill, elliptical between the third and fourth weeks.  I advise patients to avoid vigorous activities such as training for a road race for eight weeks.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

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I agree with the surgeon who told you that only your surgeon can instruct you regarding post op activity. However, i can say that it usually takes 6-8 weeks before you would feel comfortable enough to perform very strenuous and demanding activities. Don't do too much too early.

Brian D. Kent, MD
Tulsa Plastic Surgeon

Activity instructions after abdominoplasty should come from your surgeon.

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It would be improper for me to give you specific advice about your activities after an operation by another surgeon. You need to call his office and address your question specifically to him.

Exercise after Abdominoplasty

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First and foremost, follow the instructions of your PS.  In my practice, I allow patients to resume light aerobic activities at 3 weeks, but no core or straining of the abdominal repair. It takes 6 weeks for the diastasis repair to fully healed.  After 6 weeks my patients can return to full, unrestricted activities.  Good Luck!

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.