At 4 weeks post TT, breast augmentation and lift is it normal to still get stiffening/discomfort when increasing walking?

At 53 years old, I had abdominoplasty, lipo suction and breast augmentation and lift 4 weeks ago. I know the question seems basic, but I'm frustrated about some weight gain, diabetes and high blood pressure issues. I need to be able to loose the weight. I just don't want to hurt myself.

Doctor Answers 10

Mommy make-over - will exercise make me stiff?

Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.
  • You are exactly right to not lose progress in your health after surgery.
  • Yes, walking after major surgery can make you stiff and uncomfortable at first.
  • How much to do varies - so please ask your surgeon to guide you.
  • If s/he does not have help to offer - do this.
  • Start at 10% of what you did before surgery. If you walked 60 minutes, walk 6 the first time.
  • If you feel ok with that, then walk 12 minutes the next time.
  • Keep doubling your exercise - as long as you feel ok.
  • If for instance you walk 30 minutes and you are really stiff and sore, do 15 for a few days, then try 30 again.
  • This keeps you from hurting yourself - both from surgery and from having lost fitness during your recovery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Concerns after mommy makeover surgery…

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.   Having said that, based on your description, you seem to be experiencing normal sensations, common four weeks after  mommy makeover surgery.

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. Having said that, most patients are able to drive approximately one week after surgery, engage in lower body exercises two weeks after surgery, and lift more than 10 pounds 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.   
It is not unusual for some patients to require several months before they regain preoperative strength/stamina/energy levels.   What I have observed  is that many patients are about 70 to 80% of their energy level at the 4 to 6 weeks post op period and may require 3 to 4 months before they are 100%.   It is not unusual for patients to experience significant emotional "ups and downs" as well.
Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

At 4 weeks post TT, BA/BL is it normal to get stiff and have discomfort while walking?

Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on your mommy makeover.  At four months your body is well on its way to healing, but it is certainly normal to still have stiffness and pain with activity.  It takes patients several months to be fully healed, including resolution of any swelling, improved flexibility, and fading of scars.  I know waiting is difficult, but hang in there and allow your results more time to mature.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Discomfort after surgery

Congratulations on your recent surgery! At four weeks out, you are still very early after surgery. Your body is healing and remodeling and this leads to the stiffness you are experiencing. Although a month probably seems a long time to you, in terms of healing it is still the beginning. Be patient and things will get better. You will have plenty of time to get back in shape. If you push too hard while healing you may slow the progress. 

Jennifer Boll, MD
Tempe Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Discomfort when increasing activity

Four weeks post op is still fairly early in your recovery period.  It is normal at this time for you to feel a little stiff and uncomfortable while walking. Every patient recovers at their own pace and I would suggest taking it easy as to not over exert yourself and regress in your recovery.  Follow the post-op recommendations provided to you by your surgeon and increase your activity slowly.  It takes the body 8 weeks to form scars that are strong enough to withstand most activities.

Audrey Klenke, MD
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Recovery following Mommy Makeover

Hello and thank-you for your questionA Mommy Makeovers is a truly transformative process. The recovery, though, takes a bit of patience. It is normal to experience pain and stiffness.  At 4 weeks post-operative, it is normal to feel fatigued.  Weight gain early in the healing process is frequently due to fluid retention.  It is normal to have intermittent swelling in the operative sites 4 weeks post-operative. To reduce swelling, I recommend to my patients that they wear the compression garments, limit salt and sodium, and drink plenty of water. If fluid retention persists, a diuretic (water pill) is prescribed. Lymphatic message may help. Close follow-up with your Plastic Surgeon and his/her nursing staff is essential for the optimal results. I encourage my patients to follow-up with me regularly and frequently for the best results. Best wishes during your recovery. 

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Post-Op Healing Time

Healing after the #tummytuck and other procedures will take time. I have my patients out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake.  I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  No lifting or straining.  At three weeks increased level of activity and full, no restrictions, at 6 weeks. If you are still concerned that you are not in the process of proper healing, it would be best to visit your surgeon for an evaluation of your surgical areas to ensure that healing is going well. Best of luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Activity after tummy tuck and breast augmentation/lift

This is a common question I get from patients after surgery.  The reason plastic surgeons like you to limit your activity for 6-8 weeks after surgery is to give the body enough time to heal.  The body is going to do the majority of the strength healing, about 80%, in the first 6-8 weeks.  After that period has occurred it is quite difficult to "hurt" or "ruin" your results with activity.  That being said, you are correct that we also don't want people to gain weight in this period as it can effect other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  The best thing to do is to ask your plastic surgeon what she/he recommends as your surgeon knows you and your surgery the best.  My basic recommendations are NO to the following activities for 6 weeks, no heavy lifting or pulling, yoga, pilates, aerobic exercise, running, any activity that gets your heart rate up where you are breathing heavier, abdominal exercises, weight use, etc...  I am happy for my patients to walk as much as they want to right after surgery and recommend them doing so when they are ready.  After a tummy tuck it can take 4-8 weeks and sometimes longer for someone to not have that sensation of being pulled forward all the time.  It is normal for things to feel tight and it can take a few months for this sensation to go away although it gets better as time goes on.  If tightening/stiffening/discomfort occurs with walking then I recommend doing less for a few days and then try again to build up the length of walking.  After patients have passed that 6 week recovery point, I am happy for them to start resuming activities but I always recommend going slow such as start by walking smaller distances, running smaller distances, limit advance yoga poses, etc... and give their bodies time to work back up to the activity level they were prior to surgery.

Mommy makeover recovery

Congratulations on your surgery!  At four weeks it is common to have stiffness when increasing your activity.  The key is to progress slowly and let your body be your guide.  Continue to eat healthy and increase exercise as directed by your surgeon.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Activity after Abdominoplasty, Breast augmentation and lift

It is normal to feel tight and have limited activity this early after surgery.  It may take 6 weeks or longer before you can start to regain your regular activities.  Even at this point, it is important to start slowly.  During this time, it is important to maintain good control of your diabetes, as this can affect your healing.  It is also important to personally communicate your concerns to your Plastic Surgeon

Jarrod Little, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.