I am 67 days post- op from TT- and an umbilical hernia repair. When can I start exercising?

Is there any exercise I should avoid? My incision looks good and healed. I still feel a lot of tightness but that's ok. Can I do ab workout? Is there any possibility of my ab muscle repair tearing apart again? I have asked my surgeon these questions but I feel like he is being very vague. Because I am an exercise physiologist I think he thinks that I know better than him but honestly I don't. I love my new stomach so much that I am really worried about ruining it.

Doctor Answers 4

Exercising after a tummy tuck

It is very important not to create tension around your tummy tuck incision and your umbilical hernia repair incision too soon after surgery.  There are dissolvable stitches and permanent stitches under your incisions that are still doing their job to hold everything together while your body continues with the healing process, which can take several months.  I always recommend to my patients that they avoid using their stomach muscles for a few months after surgery and that they never resume to stomach-strengthening exercises for two reasons: firstly, their stomach will already be flat after surgery, and secondly by exercising their stomach muscles they can actually tear the muscle that was previously repaired.  Of course other exercises that do not focus on the abdominal muscles will definitely be beneficial overall.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Resuming exercise after tummy tuck

Thank you very much for your enquiry. We generally recommend that our patients having similar surgery to you begin an exercise regime about three months following surgery.

We generally ask our patients to start off with gentle lower body exercises such as walking before progressing to more aggressive exercises.

I hope you do well with your exercising and wish you the best of luck with this.

Best wishes.

Adrian Richards, MD
London Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Physical Activity After Tummy Tuck

You ask a good question and you were right to check with your doctor first.  Typically wounds are considered healed and the scars are dense at 6 weeks - 42 days.  However repairs of stress bearing structures like tendons take a full 3 months to be declared healed.  That would put you out at 90 days.  The reason we know it takes that long is that there have been animal studies of healing strength and also compiled reports of tendon ruptures.

No such study has been done with hernia repairs and tummy tucks.  Your surgeon doesn't want to take any chances that you will rupture your hernia repair.  You don't have to worry about the skin and fat layers - they have sufficient strength.  But your hernia repair may still be improving and strengthening.  I think one suggestion would be to plan a slow but progressive exercise program to start your core strengthening.  Once you have a plan then discuss that with your physician.  Best of luck to you and congratulations on your new look.

Al Rosenthal, MD
Lawrenceville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Vigorous activities after an abdominoplasty

This is a question best answered by your plastic surgeon.  In general you should be able to get back to vigorous activities in 6  - 8 weeks post op.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.