Do I push myself to exercise and just ignore the swelling?

I'm 9 weeks PO from a Tummy Tuck and although I feel well enough for exercise I deal with swelling. Do I just ignore the swelling and push through?

Doctor Answers 10

Swelling after tummy tuck

Swelling is due to inactivity especially when you are over two months from surgery. More physical activity will result in better drainage of your tummy and less swelling. Please see link below to get you cheat sheet, "7 keys to a great tummy tuck".

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Your plastic surgeon is the most qualified person to guide you into your recovery

Usually after the first month you are allowed to continue your routine , the use of the compresion garment help you to control swelling. The final results appear until 6 months. During this period occur internal scarring. 
Your plastic surgeon is the most qualified person to guide you into your recovery. Follow strictely accurate your surgeon advices it's the best recommedation i can give you.

Alicia Sigler, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Compression Garment

Swelling will generally occur after sugery with exercise for up to three months.  I would recommend that you consider a soft abdominal compression garment such as a binder or spanx if you want to control the swelling with exercise. 

Do I push myself to exercise and just ignore the swelling?

Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure.  As you know, swelling after tummy tuck surgery is quite common; swelling may persist for many months and even up to one year after the procedure is performed. Often, patients will report that the swelling increases as their activity level increases and gets worse later on in the day. Sometimes, the use of compressive garments may be helpful to control the edema.

I would suggest that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon, who will be in the best position to assess your situation and provide you with specific recommendations. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term care.

Tummy tuck - is exercise ok if it still causes swelling

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck and exercise.
  • Your surgeon should advise you -
  • In part it depends on the severity of the swelling and the exercise you are doing.
  • A five mile run is different from 20 minutes on a treadmill.
  • You may want to exercise wearing a girdle or compression garment for support.
  • You may want a different exercise at first
  • Or you may want to start slowly and build up.
  • There are many individual variations -
  • If your surgeon is not much help, I suggest no-impact exercise and starting at a tenth of what you did before and building up from there.

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

Exercise at 9 weeks after tummy tuck

Its important to discuss this with your own surgeon first.   Ordinarily by two months you've had plenty of healing to be able to begin exercising forcefully but if the swelling is due to some other postoperative issue then clear it first with your surgeon. Once you've been given the green light you need to get your core strength back by deliberate abdominal exercise.  Remember you've been avoiding exercise for over two months.  Any strength you had before surgery is lost from this much inactivity so remember use it or lose it!  You'll be surprised how much of the "swelling" is just a bulge from your weakened abs just like after pregnancy.  

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Swelling after tummy tuck.

You are in the classic. During which the vast majority of swelling has subsided, but the tissues still carry some slight inflammation that makes the vessels leaky. The most noticeable effect of this are when the patient is exercising and the heart rate is up pumping tremendous amounts of blood through those vessels. I certainly don't think it will compromise the end result of your surgery, but before advising any patient I have never met to "push through "any side effects of surgery, I would have to defer to the surgeon who performed your procedure.
Best of luck!
Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Activity following tummy tuck

Although this forum is an excellent source for information, it should not take the place of your own surgeon's postoperative instructions.  I would start by reaching out to him/her and follow their specified guidelines as every surgeon is unique in that regard.  I think it is fair to say that for most surgeons, patients are essentially unrestricted with their activity by 9 weeks.  Some swelling - albeit temporary - may persist for months.  Compression garments are always a good option to help combat that issue.  Hope this helps.  Good luck!

Do I push myself to exercise and just ignore the swelling

Congratulations that you are feeling  good after 9 weeks from having a tummy tuck. you can start exercising implementing cardio and walking .. But your surgeon will have to cleared you if you want to do heavy lifting .

Sergio Alvarez, MD
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 187 reviews

9 weeks after TT


Congratulations on your tummy tuck!  At 9 weeks, your surgeon has likely cleared you to do any type of exercise that you feel comfortable performing.  I have my patients wear a lighter compression garment under their workout clothes with exercise to help combat post exercise swelling.  With the increase in heart rate that occurs with exercise increased swelling is expected and generally temporary.  The extent though differs for each individual.  If you are very concerned make sure to talk to your plastic surgeon and see what he/she recommends on how to proceed. Slowly returning to normal exercise will allow your body to accommodate to its new shape.

Best of luck with your continued healing!

Dr. Rednam

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.