How soon after a tummy tuck without MR can you start abdominal exercises?

I am 9 days post op i had a tummy tuck just skin removal no MR and I feel great. I know recovery is really important but I'm wondering when I can start light crunches?

Doctor Answers 7

Exercise after a tummy tuck

Hi and thanks for the question.

Regardless of whether or not you had a plication of your diastasis, I would wait a minimum of 8 weeks before commencing abdominal exercise. Why ?: Because it takes 8 weeks for your scar to reach full strength.  Undue tension on the scar before that point will compromise the chances of having an ideal fine-line scar.

Best of luck,

Dr. Vallecillos 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Activity after Tummytuck

Wanting to get back to working out after a tummy tuck is great but its important to know when the right time for that would be. Always checking with your doctor about their post operative instructions is very important as well as listening to your body. Usually there is a restriction on any abdominal working out until you are at least 6 weeks out from surgery. Again, checking with your doctor before beginning is very important. Every patient heals differently and starting too soon can put you at risk for possibly damaging what has been done. Once you are cleared by your doctor starting slow is best and just seeing how your body responds to the workout. 

John W. Tyrone, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

How soon after a tummy tuck without muscle work can you start abdominal exercises?

Thank you for the question. 

Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to returning to specific activities. He/she will know exactly what was done, how you are progressing, and exactly what type of activities you are returning to. Generally speaking, it will be important for you to return to activities in a very gradual/cautious fashion. "Listen to your body" as you do so. In general, the patients who have not had muscle repair can return to abdominal exercises sooner than patients who have had muscle work.  Again, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to  relevant advice.


Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Post-Op Healing Time - Return to Full Activity

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. You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 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 can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate. If you are looking to return to exercise it may be good to give the swelling time to reduce completely. If you have any questions about the healing process be sure to bring them up with your surgeon in follow-up appointments.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

How soon after a tummy tuck without MR can you start abdominal exercises?

Thank you for sharing your excellent question and congratulations on your surgery!   In most cases it is wise to avoid any significant exercise for the first two weeks after surgery in order to minimize the risk of bleeding.  After that time, I would wait an additional 2 weeks before resuming light crunches so as to avoid tension along your incision that may cause development of a poor scar.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

Thanks for the question.  Always best to check with your surgeon.  In my practice I would advise you to avoid cardio or any exercise that increases the heart rate/blood pressure for 3-4 weeks.   No heavy lifting (>10-15 lbs) for 6 weeks.  You probably should wait 4-6 weeks for crunches.  Best wishes.

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.