How Much Rest Vs. Movement Should I Be Doing After TT Surgery?

How Much Rest Vs. Movement Should I Be Doing After TT Surgery?

Doctor Answers 8

How Much Rest Vs. Movement Should I Be Doing After TT Surgery?

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I agree with Dr. Johnsons post; most of my patients take a week off from work, some may need a little more.  I have my patients up and walking the day after surgery to prevent blood clots and doing isometric exercises that dont require use of the abdominal muscles 2-3 weeks after surgery.  Close follow up with your doctor is always advisable!  Good luck!

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

How Much Rest Vs. Movement Should I Be Doing After TT Surgery?

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In my practice, Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is an outpatient procedure. By providing anesthesia to the area of muscle separation repair (Diastasis), our patients do not have significant discomfort for 12 hours and their level of pain the day after is significantly decreased. Not only is it much more comfortable but it allows greater mobility and deeper breathing.

The faster the patients walk and take deep breaths the quicker they recover and the less the risks of blood clots (DVT), blood clots to the lungs (emboli) and pneumonia. We therefore make sure our patients walk the night of surgery until they go to bed and encourage them to ambulate and or move their feet every 30 minutes in the days after surgery.

Our patients are NOT hunched over ("Groucho Marx position") nor do they feel like they need to be. They do not compress their operated tummies with ill-fitting, tight and expensive corsets or binders which increase the rate of shallow breathing, fever and pneumonia and potentially of decreased blood flow to the tummy skin just above the incision. (Although I was trained to use binders, I stopped doing so years ago and my patients are much more comfortable without them).

Our patients usually return to a desk job in 10-14 days but must refrain from exercising for 4 weeks.

In summary, the more you move after your Tummy Tuck the better you will do.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Rest vs moving after tummy tuck

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I recommend getting out of bed several times a day to walk in order to keep the blood flowing. When you are resting in bed make sure that you are moving your feet and legs frequently.  No pushing, pulling, cleaning, bending over, or exercise.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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The abdominoplasty surgery is a large operation and requires lots of recovery.  Ideally, you would take 2-4 weeks off of work (and maybe more depending on the type of work you do).  You will need to stay “hunched over” for weeks to protect the incision line and there should be no lifting or driving.  You should speak to your surgeon as to his/her recommendations for you for after surgery as each surgeon has a slightly different recovery process they want their patients to follow.  It is very important to move the legs after surgery and to take deep breaths to fill the lungs.  When you actually get up and move around more should be discussed with your surgeon.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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My philosophy is to get patients moving quickly after surgery as this reduces the incidence of postoperative complications. My patients are instructed to wear a binder for the first several weeks followed by a moderately supportive girdle for several months. This helps to re-inforce the repair of the fascia while healing takes place. I usually allow the patient to perform aerobic exercises when they feel comfortable doing so - usually about 3-4 weeks following surgery. Heavy lifting, sit ups and any activity requiring strenuous contraction of the abdominal muscles are delayed for six weeks. This has worked well in my experience.  Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Moving about after tummy tuck

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We prefer our patients up and moving after tummy tuck, as they feel better, and will have a lower risk for blood clots from sitting. Most will take two weeks off, though a few will be out  a week. We have stopped using drains long ago and this too has sped the recovery process.

Best of luck,


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

Resting or moving after tummy tuck surgery

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Tummy Tuck Recovery

The first 2-3 days after surgery there is a good amount of pressure and tightness from repairing the stretched rectus muscles. The feeling is similar to a hard workout. We usually prescribe pain pills such as Norco (Vicodin) or Percocet and a muscle relaxant such as Soma or Flexeril. You will need help from someone the first 2-3 days. A drain is placed which is removed at approximately 1 to 1.5 weeks.  During that time, you should not be very active so the space underneath can close.  

 Best of luck, Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Activities following a tummy tuck

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It is important not to be "bed-ridden" following a tummy tuck as this does increase the risk for blood clots in the leg and lung. Doing activities in moderation for the first few weeks is usually recommended which also means no heavy lifting, straining and sit-ups. You also may need to walk bent over for several days.

Many patients do return to work by 1 week though this is for more sedentary jobs. Those jobs requiring a considerable amount of physical activity or lifting would be longer.

Each physician has his/her own protocol so whomever does your surgery, make sure that you follow their recommendations.

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