Normal gym life after mommy makeover?

I LOVE exercising, so it's frustrating to looking in the mirror to see grade 3 ptosis and diastasis recti from three pregnancies (and three cesareans). Here are my questions: 1. Bc of my love for the gym, is there a preferred location of implants for safety? (Sub vs supra muscular?) 2. Once the healing from the abdominoplasty, lift, and augmentation is done, will I be able to resume a "normal" gym life? 3. I'm not looking for "perfect" just flatter and lifted. Is that attainable? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 12

Gym Rat

I too am a "gym rat". I have done and continue to do many patients who compete in bodybuilding/fitness/physique and bikini. Obviously, there are many considerations in making decisions about implant placement/type etc and each patient has their own individual priorities.

The most common question I hear is related to implant movement below versus above when posing. We discuss this and some choose over, some under. This should not be great a concern for your since you do not compete.

Because for the average patient below the muscle gives better cover for the implant along with a lower rate of capsular contracture, I prefer this. In the long run it has been shown there is no strength/flexibility loss. My patients are allowed to return to the gym after one week barring any issues. Clearly there will be things they are comfortable doing at that point, but they do what they can and I have NEVER in 25 years had an issue arise from that approach. Full unlimited weightlifting may not be comfortable for 3-6 weeks.


The tummy is a little different. If you do not require a muscle plication, I would tell you not to do ANY heavy lifting or cardio for two weeks. Barring issues, you could go full bore after that as comfort dictates, If you require a plication, I limit heavy lifting and abs for 6 weeks.

I would not get too wrapped up in your short term limitations as your goal is a great long term results, and you appear to be a good candidate for such a result.


Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Normal gym life after mommy makeover?

Thank you for the question. You should be very proud of the appearance of your torso after three pregnancies;  good job with the healthy lifestyle!  You seem to be a good candidate for breast augmentation/lifting along with tummy tuck surgery.

Your most important decision: selection of your plastic surgeon.  Make sure that he/she is a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon with significant/demonstrable experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. He/she will guide you as you return to postoperative activities, including all types of gym work within a few months.  

There are pros and cons to the placement of breast implants in the “sub muscular” position versus the "sub glandular position”. I will try to outline some of the differences here; you may find the attached link helpful as well.

I think it is in the best interests of most patients seeking breast augmentation surgery to have implants placed in the “dual plane” or sub muscular position. This positioning allows for more complete coverage of the breast implants leading to generally more natural feel/look of the implants in the long-term. This position will also decrease the potential for rippling and/or palpability of the implants (which may increase with time, weight loss, and/or post-pregnancy changes).

The submuscular positioning also tends to interfere with mammography less so than breast implants in the sub glandular position. The incidence of breast implant encapsulation (capsular contraction) is also decreased with implants placed in the sub muscular position.

On the other hand, sub glandular breast implant positioning does not have the potential downside of “animation deformity” ( movement/ distortion of the breast implants seen with flexion of the pectoralis major muscle) they can be seen with breast implants placed in the sub muscular position.

You may find the attached link, dedicated to "patients in action" helpful.  You will find a separate page, on the same website, dedicated to mommy makeover surgery concerns. Best wishes.

Planning mommy make-over for a fit woman

Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.

  • How wonderful to be so fit - great way to live!
  • A mommy make-over may take 2 months or longer to get fully back to work-outs.
  • Recovery is faster with implants over the muscle - but you need a lift, so implants should be below the muscle or placed later in a separate procedure.
  • Over the muscle implants move naturally during work-outs
  • Your surgeon will probably let you return gradually to your work-out starting 2 weeks after surgery if you have the energy.
  • Talk to your surgeon about Exparel for pain control - it makes recovery from a tummy tuck or under muscle implants much easier.


Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Healing & Returning to Activity after a Mommy Makeover

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #Healing will continue for 2-3 months following your #Augmentation #Mastopexy procedure. There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation will be abnormal. Scars will also be changing. But, it can be up to one year see your final result. Your doctor may require you to move or massage the implants within the breast pockets during the #postoperative period. #Textured implants do not require breast massage. You will be informed about this at your post-operative visit. 

Also, the two breasts commonly heal quite differently so #assymetry is not unusual. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete #healing, they will be more similar and natural. You must have patience, but if this causes concern, ask questions of the doctor or the nursing staff.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Mommy makeover

Hi, Thank you for the question.
well i'm really happy that you love working out, that means my work is halfway done.

about question number 1 i think you have enough tissue to cover the implant over the muscle, however i think since you love working out maybe its better going under so you can have a lower rate of capsular contracture.  you will need 3-6 weeks, to start lifting again but you can do it step by step

about question 2 i think is best if you rest for 3 weeks and start slowly to work back to your normal rotine

about question 3, yes, you can have a great result.

Enriquillo Clime Rivera, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Resuming full athletic activity after mommy makeover.

The rate limiting operation relative to physical activity with a mommy makeover is abdominoplasty. In my own patients I allow exercises that target the abdominal muscles to begin at six weeks increasing to normal activity by three months. Aerobic activity is generally permitted in a few weeks depending on the convalescence. Sub glandular implants are probably slightly better for patients that are highly athletic as inferior displacement of the implant call bottoming out is more common in a sub pectoral breast augmentation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Normal gym life after mommy makeover?

Hi... thank you for the question and photos.... you do qualify for the procedures, and you will achieve great results. I generally indicate my patients to start doing cardiovascular exercises after four (4) weeks, and start lifting after 12 weeks if everything is ok.

Luis A. Mejia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Normal gym life after mommy makeover?

Thank you for your questions and for posting your photographs. You have done an amazing job of staying in shape and should be commended.  In response to your questions, I would place implants below the muscle for you. You appear to have little tissue in the upper portion of your breasts that would concern me for the risk of palpability and visibility of an implant. Submuscular implants trend towards fewer complications and afford natural results.  After complete healing of your incisions, you will be able to return to your normal gym life, it may take 6-10 weeks to get there, so some degree of patience will be needed. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Normal gym life after mommy makeover?

Thank you for your question.  I have a lot of bodybuilders in my practice and I go with silicone implants above the muscle.  They can get back to working out much faster and they have no implant animation with flexion of the chest muscles.  A lift can be done at the same time.

Rigo Mendoza, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Normal gym life after mommy makeover

I prefer under but if you are so active the above might be a better option. Bit only in person detailed examination would allow that decision to be made. Return to gym after 3 to 4 weeks,....

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.