I have had a tummy tuck with lipo of my back. I know it will be a few month before my swelling goes does down, but I would like to know if when i start to exercise again will my swelling subside or will it get worse?
Does Exercise Help with Swelling?
Doctor Answers 13
Swelling and exercise after a Tummy Tuck
My advice is to be up and walking as soon as possible following a Tummy Tuck. Walking is the best way to prevent blood clots (DVT) in your legs.
If you have had a repair and tightening of the abdominal muscles during the abdominoplasty, you should avoid lifting and straining your abdominal muscles for about six weeks. At six weeks the internal scarring that suports the muscle repair is strong enough for exercise. Be certain to start slowly.
Swelling after liposuction takes about 6 weeks to 3 months to go down. The swelling after a Tummy Tuck takes longer to resolve. Swelling is fluid in your tissues; the fluid follows gravity and moves downward. After the Tummy Tuck, the incision acts like a dam and the fluid (swelling) backs up above the incision. Once the fluid channels reestablish themselves, the swelling goes away.
Follow your surgeons advice; don't hesitate to ask questions.
Richard L. Dolsky MD
Does Exercise Help with Swelling
Exercise, in general after any surgery, can increase swelling in the operated area. That does NOT mean that you should not exercise, on the contrary. Exercise helps with increasing blood flow to the tissues which helps with wound healing. The amount and intensity of exercise should be discussed with your operating surgeon so that you do not do too much too soon. Good luck!
When to start exercise
This is a question best decided on by you and your doctor. Everyone is different in terms of when they let people workout. A simple phone call to your doctor's office may answer the question and you could start on a gentle exercise program tomorrow. Good luck
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Swelling will return with exercise too soon after tummy tuck
Tummy tuck has the longest recovery, especially with significant muscle repair and tightening, and exercise should be delayed a full four to six weeks after. Swelling and irritation will return if you push into exercise too soon, much like trying to run on a sprained ankle. You can walk and start slowly with low impact activities such as a recumbent bike which will take the stress off your back and abdomen. Whatever you do, if it causes discomfort or swelling, stop.
Best of luck,
Swelling after surgery
After the first week or so, it is good to get back to exercise. Start slowly with just treadmill and then work yourself up to a normal routine. The increased circulation and movement will be helpful. If you had a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty, you should refrain from heavy lifting for the first 6 weeks was the internal stitches heal.
Swelling May Increase Temporarily As Exercise Resumes
In general, patients usually swell a little more whenthey resume activities again after liposuction. When everything starts to move around a fair amount, it can cause some irritation and swelling transiently. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about. I recommend an ice pack 20 min on/off for a few hours after initial exercising if you notice some swelling. This should subside after a week or so of returning to your activities. I hope this helps.
Swelling After Tummy Tuck
Your compression garment should also be worn to help with swelling.
Exercise and Post Surgery Swelling
Once you are a several weeks past your surgery, it is generally safe to introduce limited exercise. Full tissue healing will not occur until 8 weeks so you will need to limit aggressive physical exercise until that time. Exercise does not increase swelling and in fact, may reduce swelling.
Check With Surgeon Before Exercising after Tummy Tuck
You did not state how far post-op you are, so it is difficult to comment on when it would be beneficial or safe to begin exercises. However, I feel strongly that this a question that should address to your surgeon. You and he/she have a vested interest in your recovery and you should trust him/her to advise you on this matter.
Take it slow
Depending on your doctor's recommendation and your own post-op recovery-you may be able to start walking slowly on a treadmill after 7-10 days for a short period of time-meaning not to get to the point of sweating as that will cause increase in swelling.
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.