Can you work on your abs after you get a tummy tuck to make it more toned and firm?

Doctor Answers 9

Abdominoplasty and Fitness

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Thank you for your question. I advice my patients to resume light exercise  - on average -  at 4 to 6 weeks but not to engage the core muscles for at least 3 months. At that stage, I recommend initially planks to then slowly introducing other exercises. An essential part of the procedure is also the level of fitness before surgery, as a fit body will recover faster and better.

I hope it helps. 

Andrea Marando

Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon

Manchester - UK

Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.

Yes, you can still strengthen the abdominal muscles after having a tummy tuck but it is important to wait until you are cleared to resume exercising again. Every patient recovers differently and at different speeds but I tell my patients to wait, at minimum, six weeks before easing back into their regular fitness routine. However, realize that your body may require some time to return to prior strength. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your recovery!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Heal completely before starting any abdominal exercise.

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Once you’ve healed from your tummy tuck and received the go-ahead from your plastic surgeon, you certainly can focus on strengthening your abs with core exercises. Over time, dedicated core work will enhance your muscle tone for a firm, fit look. Most people are able to resume abdominal exercises within 6 to 8 weeks after a tummy tuck, but always follow your surgeon's recovery guidelines if their recommendations differ from that estimate.

Exercise after a tummy tuck

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You can continue to exercise after a tummy tuck to strengthen your abdomen but make sure you have been cleared by your plastic surgeon before resuming even light exercise to ensure that you have given yourself enough time to heal. Typically it may take a month or two before you can ease back into it. Good luck with your goals!

Can you work on your abs after you get a tummy tuck to make it more toned and firm?

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Yes, in the long term, you should be able to return to all types of exercise.  This, along with careful attention to a healthy diet, will help you maintain the outcome achieved with tummy tuck surgery. Your plastic surgeon will be your best guide when it comes to gradually returning to full activity/exercise. Best wishes.

Helping With Ab Results After Surgery

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Without seeing any photos or more details about the timeline of your procedure there are some basic tips about the healing process that are provided to my patients:

Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks, including workouts to continue tightening your abs.

If you find yourself concerned at all about your result or healing it would be best to visit your surgeon to have the area examined and make sure that healing is progressing well. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy tuck and exercise

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Once you have completed your healing, you should be able to do almost any activity.  Best to ask your surgeon for clearance to move forward.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Exercise After A Tummy Tuck - ABSolutely!

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Thanks for your question. You can work out after a tummy tuck. Your abdominal muscles in the middle of your abdomen are held together by a band of tissue. With pregnancy, or weight change, the band stretches and the muscles are no longer in the proper position. In a tummy tuck, the muscles are repositioned back to the center of the abdomen. Once they are in the proper position, abdominal exercises will certainly make your tummy more firm and toned.

Tummy tuck, can you still tone the abs?

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Thank for this question. The answer is absolutely. After tummy tuck the hope is that you will get back into whatever exercise regimen you wish. Muscle tightening will slow you down in the beginning as you rehab, but eventually the belly should be all your again. It is important to follow the instructions of your PS so that the muscles have enough time to heal before you stress them.

I have included common FAQ in the link below as well. Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 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.