Exercise to Improve Tummy Tuck Results?

I had a tummy tuck last year in August but my stomach is not as flat as I wanted it. My question is: if I go to the gym and work out, can I get a flatter tummy?

Doctor Answers 13

Exercise improves Tummy Tuck results and life itself

Exercise will most certainly improve your tummy tuck results. You should be able to achieve cardiovascular fitness through aerobic exercise and strengthen your core. You will have better control of weight, feel stronger, be more alert, develop a can do attitude, and of course have more fun.

There is no question that exercise will flatten and strengthen your stomach. Here is the trick though. The answer is not situps or crunches. The key is to strengthen your core through aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise involves raising your heart rate 15% above your resting rate and holding it there for at least 30 min three times a week or more. Yes, you will sweat almost the whole time, and you will not be able to read a book or chat easily with friends during the time you are in the "zone." You will need to exercise the largest muscles in your body, your legs, to do this.

The exercises I prefer, include running or treadmill, bike and spin, elliptical training, or recumbent bike. All will strengthen your stomach over time.

Once you have achiEved aerobic fittness, on your off days take a class, play tennis, swim, or use weights if you wish. And don't forget the fun! Meet people, make friends, chat, join a group, run a 5K or volunteer and go for a fun run after.

My final advice, never eat alone; fries are food, not friends!

Best of luck.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Exercise is always the best place to start

Abdominal fullness after an abdominplasty will most likely benefit from diet and exercise. Often there is intra-abdominal fat (around the intestines) that can't be removed with a tummy-tuck or by liposuction. The only way to improve the contour in such a case is with exercise and diet. Sometimes, localized fat, not removed with the abdominoplasty can be improved with some liposuction.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

It depends on the cause of your fullness after Tummy Tuck


It all depends on the cause of your abdominal fullness. If your belly is not flat because of excess fat external to your rectus muscles (abdominal muscles) then you would benefit from exercise and or supplemental liposuction. If your problem is due to intra-abdominal fullness then you would benefit from weight loss. If your problem is due to loose abodominal muscles, then you would benefit from exercise to help firm up the muscles. If they did not plicate (tighten) the muscles during your initial surgery, then you may need to have this done as well to maximize your result. Good luck with your progress.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Exercise and Tummy Tuck Results

A Tummy Tuck results in a flat tummy when the underlying muscles are properly returned to the original position and the midline and tightened, the woman is not overweight, the skin is not overly damaged and of course, the proper operation is done well.  You will NOT get a flat tummy if your muscles are either poorly or not repaired, you are significantly overweight and your had the wrong operation (IE a MINI Tummy Tuck when a Full Tummy tuck was called for) or the operation was not done well (such as by a non-Plastic surgeon).

Exercising is great for your health but it cannot tighten and bring back to midline the rectus (6 pack) muscles which are along the sides of a fault line (diastasis). Nor can exercise regardless of intensity and intentions shrink loose and or damaged skin.

Exercise. But, talk to your Plastic surgeon and see what can be done.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Exercise can absolutely improve Tummy Tuck results

The best results from any aesthetic surgery come from a partnership between you and your surgeon. Once the sugery is completed, especially in the case of a tummy tuck, it's time for you to focus on yourself. Excercise combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle will improve the results of your surgery. You can work abs and emphasize cardio training to optimize your outcome.

Since you're 4 months or more from your procedure, you should be able to do anything you want to do, but check with your surgeon to ensure you follow his or her post-operative protocol.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Dr. Kaufman

David L. Kaufman, MD
Folsom Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Exercise will probably not improve the results of a tummy tuck.

If you are not as flat as you wish after a tummy tuck, you perhaps were expecting too much from the operation.  Exercise generally won't improve a result unless there is fat inside the peritoneal cavity contributing to protuberance of the abdomen.  Weight loss might then allow the abdomen to be flatter.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

By all means try working out, but it probably will not help.


Hi!  I f you are not flat, you either have residual separation of the rectus muscles (diastasis) or, more likely, residual fat.  You might need a simple touch up with liposuction.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Flatten stomach after tummy tuck

It depends on the cause of your bulging stomach. If it's loose skin or muscle separation, exercise won't help. If it's excess fat, exercise can help. Have you spoken to your surgeon to discuss your results? They can probably provide better insight on your situation.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Exercise can improve tummy tuck results

You may be able to get a flatter stomach, however it depends on what is causing the bulge in the first place. If it is excess skin, exercise will probably not help and you may need revision surgery. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Exercise and tummy tuck

Exercise is always good for you.  Certainly if your abdomen is not as firm as you would like it, the gym can help tone you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.