Can I Still Play Full-contact Sports After a Tummy Tuck?

Can I get a tummy tuck and still play competitive full-contact sports with no pain or fear of damage? (Never had children, this procedure is to remove loose skin from having been overweight for birth to age 18.) Some of the doctors I've met have describe suturing muscles to create internal corsets as part of the procedure where others have not mentioned so much of this. Would one of these options be better than the other in terms of playing sports? Thank you for your time and help.

Doctor Answers 11

Contact Sports after tummy tuck

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After a full recuperation period (as stated by the surgeon you choose), you should be able to resume full activity including contact sports after tummy tuck.

For my patients, I would not recommend this for 8-10 weeks and adjust this time frame according to each individuals capacity to heal. Everyone's a little different.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Even extreme sports possible after healing from tummy tuck

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Hi there-

Having had several professional athletes as patients over the years, I can tell you that once you have completed the healing period satisfactorily, you should be able to return to any activity you enjoyed before surgery, and be just as capable. Many of my patients actually say they feel MORE capable after their muscles have been returned to their anatomically correct position.

Tummy tuck patients can return to full exercise after healing

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Congrats on your weight loss!  Tummy tuck involves the removal of excess, loose skin and the tightening of the separated muscles of the belly wall.  By far, the muscle tightening takes longer than the skin to heal in terms of returning to your regular exercise activity.  Even so, after healing, you should be able to return to your full contact athletics.  If you have not had full term pregnancies, the muscles may actually be in good position, and muscle tightening may not even be necessary.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Sports after a tummy tuck

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One of the most crucial aspects of the the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure is the plication (or tightening) or the anterior rectus fascia.  Some plastic surgeons refer to this as tightening of the muscles.  After a tummy tuck, I typically have patients refrain from any strenuous activities for 4-6 weeks.  After this time, patients can begin resume all of their normal activities.  There is no reason why a patient can't resume contact sports after they have fully recovered from a tummy tuck.  Obviously, you should go over this issue with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Can I Still Play Full-contact Sports After a Tummy Tuck?

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After 6 weeks post operative I see no reason not to allow "full contact" sports. But better to address this with your chosen surgeon. 

Contact sports following a tummy tuck

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Undergoing the most appropriate tummy tuck procedure for your condition is the prudent choice so if a muscle repair is indicated - it should be performed. Long term, you should be able to engage in any contact sports that you desire as there will be no limitation. If postoperative healing is uneventful, you should wait at least 8 weeks before engaging in contact sports as tolerated. Of course, this may be modified by several factors including healing issues, the particular sport, etc. Ultimately, you need to follow the instructions and restrictions of your operative plastic surgeon.

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

Contact sports after abdominoplasty

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If you have never had children, you may not need suturing of the muscle. Contact sports should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery without muscle repair and for 3 months if the muscle is involved.

Yes, full activity will be possible

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You should be able to do any physical activity you were previously able to after a tummy tuck.  Since you have not had any children, myofascial plication (tightening of the abdominal wall, aka muscle tightening) may not be needed and this will result in a much faster recovery time.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Contact Sports After Tummy Tuck

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I would permit you to engage in full-contact sports 3-4 months following your tummy tuck, with or without a muscle repair.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Sports OK after Tummy Tuck

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Even with muscle repair, full contact sports can be resumed after a tummy tuck, but you must give adequate time for healing.

I advise my patients to allow 6 full weeks of limited activity, without stressing the repair after the procedure. Your body needs time to build strength in the repairs.

After this time, it is wise to begin gradualted strengthening exercises and increase in activities. Too much, too soon will result in complications, compromise results and prolong recovery.

Depending on your particular situation, expect 3-4 months, as a minimum before resuming full contact sports.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 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.