Can I go back to the gym? What can I start with? (photos)

I'm recovering from an extended tummy tuck with lipo. My surgery was done on June 23rd. They cleared me to go back to the gym and other physical activities (sex). What can I start with at the gym? I can't do any abdominals, can I do the eleptical machine, upper body with light weights? I wear the white binder at night and my marena during the day.

Doctor Answers 6

Exercsing after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. Core exercises can be started at 3 months post op usually. I do not recommend abdominal crunches for up to 8 months. You should be able to ease into upper body and the use of an elliptical machine. You should speak with your surgeon for specific machines and exercises that are safe during this phase of your recovery. 

Hope this helps,Dr. Newall

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Back to the gym after tummy tuck? I recommend 6 weeks

I recommend that my patients wait 6 weeks to return to the gym and physical activities such as sex.  The most common complication after an abdominoplasty is a seroma (fluid collection under the skin) and if your tissues are shifting and moving too much then they can't "get glued back together" by the healing process and this fluid can build up. Also, when incisions are repaired they actually get weaker for the first 3 weeks and then from week 4 through 6 start to regain their strength.  By week 6 (6 weeks after surgery) they are back to 70% of final wound strength.  So if you return to the gym or significant activity too soon your incision could open up, your scars could stretch and widen, and your muscle repair could pull apart.  I also have my patients avoid heavy core exercise (abdominals) for 6 months to avoid stretching out their muscle repair.  Walking right after surgery is fine, but you want to avoid any twisting or strain of the abdominal area- again, I recommend for 6 weeks based on studies of wound healing and my experiences over the past 26 years.

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Abdominoplasty Recovery

After a tummy tuck procedure, it is important to follow your activity restrictions for the first 6 weeks. I inform my patients that during the first 6 weeks, your activity recovery will be limited and spaced into three 2-week intervals. This 6 week plan allows you to gradually increase your activity, but it is also necessary to listen to your body! Let pain or discomfort be your guide during the recovery period. If you feel pulling, stretching, discomfort, or pain, it is a sign that you need to decrease your activity. At 6 weeks, you have no limitations and can return to your normal exercise routine. Consult with your board-certified plastic surgeon regarding his or her activity regimen after surgery. He or she is truly your best resource for your postoperative care. It is essential to follow postoperative instructions to ensure proper healing and your continued satisfaction with your results. Good luck in your recovery!

Tom S. Liu, MD, MBA
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Going back to the gym after a tummy tuck

Thank you for the question and photos. Considering that you had a tummy tuck done only a month ago, it may be too premature for you to go back to the gym. Typically, most patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activity for 6 weeks after the procedure. Light physical activity may be allowable at this point in your recovery. If you begin vigorous exercise too soon, however, it may prolong or adversely impact the healing process. As always, an in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi. 

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question. I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon

1 month post op, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with usAt this point (1 month post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 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.