Muscle Healing After Tummy Tuck

I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair on January 19th 2011. I have the quilted suturing done so there was no need for drains. How healed are the muslces after 7 weeks? And what are my physical limitations as this point? I go back to see my PS on the 10th, next Thursday, so was just curious.

Doctor Answers 10

Healing Period After #Tummy Tuck

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Following surgery, you walk in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more.
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. 3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more. Excess swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 6 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will guide you as to the specific time to resume key physical activities and sports.

Healing time

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Though you should first contact your physicians office for their recommendation, we allow our patients to begin physical exercise starting 6 weeks after surgery assuming their recovery is as expected.

Marc Schneider, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Healing and exercise after tummy tuck, week seven

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After tummy tuck with repair of muscle separation full exercise usually begins about eight weeks so you are very close. Most will have begun low impact activities with walking by week three, progressing to an elliptical or recumbent bike by week six. Whatever you choose, start slowly and begin with 'core' exercise. Strengthening should come only after three months of aerobic fitness.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

When are the muscles healed

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Good question.  Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact answer.  Each surgeon does a different type of muscle repair and uses different sutures.  I close the muscle in two layers including one layer of permanent suture.  I thus feel confident in all lowing my patients to resume lifting at the gym within 4 weeks and reasonably strenuous work-out by six weeks with a binder on. 

Determining activity limitations following a tummy tuck

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You need to inquire of your plastic surgeon as to what are your limitations and exactly what you can do as he/she was the one who performed your surgery. Opinions do vary among plastic surgeons regarding at what point you can engage in certain activities - and they are not necessarily right or wrong.

For my patients, I usually allow full unrestricted activities at 8 weeks.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Different Protocols for Exercise After Tummy Tuck

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All surgeons have different opinions regarding when certain activities can be resumed following surgery.  This is a question which you should ask your surgeon he/she knows best about exactly what was done at the time of your procedure.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Exercise after TT.

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Check with your surgeon, but you should be able to do many kinds of exercise.  I would have you hold off on the abs or back bends for another two months.  Twisting may hurt a bit, too. After not exercising for 7 weeks you should start easy and work up.  Wait until Thursday to see what your surgeon says before doing anything other than walking.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Your Good to Go!

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I have my patients start to get back to exercise at 6 weeks.  The muscles are not cut or damaged but the tissue encasing the muscles is what is tightened. You can start depending on what you doc says and listen to your body.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Healing after tummy tuck.

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Healing after tummy tuck surgery can take up to a year.  Physical limitations should be reviewed with your surgeon at your post op apointment. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Healing after tummy tuck

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At the seventh week mark, your muscles are continuing to heal after surgery.  Physical limitations vary with individual comfort.  Exercise walking or even running is acceptable as long as there is no discomfort to you.  I would hold off on any heavy lifting or sit ups until you are given the green light by your surgeon.

Lawrence C. Lin, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

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.