Before surgery I was brisk walking 2 miles. I am feeling good 2 weeks post op. Only taking Advil maybe once a day for mainly mild discomfort. Is it ok to take a normal walk for one mile around my neighborhood with my chihuahua. Not by any means brisk but normal walk. Would this possibly increase swelling?
Walking 2 Weeks Post Op After Tummy Tuck?
Doctor Answers 6
This is what I tell my patients about walking 1 mile 2 weeks after tummy tuck.
After tummy tuck, your drain (if you had one) has only been out for a week or less, and tissue layers have only been healed/adhered to one another for a week, so activity must be conservative to avoid reaccumulation of fluid that could lead to a seroma, needle aspirations, drain reinsertion, or even more surgery to remove a pseudobursa (NONE of these is a good thing).
For the first two weeks after tummy tuck I recommend nothing that raises the blood pressure or pulse, but walking is good, and helps to avoid blood clots. Walking a mile right at 2 weeks may be stretching things a bit, but your heart rate and pulse (as well as your brow sweat) will be the real telling point as to whether or not this is too much at this point. A bit at a time is alright, but power walking or treadmill is not allowed yet. By the third week I allow more cardio, and exercise bike (gradually), treadmill, or more exertional walking is OK, but no vigorous exercise or health club yet. At the fourth week post-op I allow exercise, as long as it starts gradually and does NOT involve the abdominal muscles, so as not to disturb the muscle repair sutures. So no sit-ups, crunches, ab roller, etc. until 6 weeks after surgery. Then, all forms of exercise or activity are OK, as long as started gradually and endurance is built up naturally.
As exercise and activities are being ramped up, I allow my patients to switch from their surgical elastic/Velcro abdominal binder at about 3 weeks to a body shaper (Spanx or equivalent), and continue this for another several weeks. At 3-4 weeks is when we add complimentary massage therapy and ultrasonic treatments for our patients to help with swelling, firm areas, and scar softening. Patients also begin Vitamin E oil scar massage at home, and use silicone scar pads if needed.
After 6 weeks (and assuming no healing concerns). there are no restrictions except sun or ultraviolet avoidance for 6-12 months (or as long as the scars are pink), to avoid hyperpigmentation.
Of course, if you have a seroma, wound healing problem, or less-than-ideal scar, you will be asking your surgeon about this, so that is why you should ask and follow your own surgeon's advice regarding activity. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen
Exercise after tummy tuck
I generally recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity (no exercise) for 4 to 6 weeks after tummy tuck. At two weeks, you should be fine for a gentle walk. I would not recommend walking 1-2 miles. After six weeks, I encourage patients to slowly resume exercise routines *gradually*. Remember, during the six week postoperative period - you will be deconditioned. I do prepare patients to notice some increased swelling once exercise is resumed. Over the next several weeks, this post-exercise edema will no longer manifest. But please check with your surgeon with respect to his/her specific recommendations. Best of luck.
Go ahead and walk
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes but be cautious of the road/track for obstacles as you are still not fully healed so if you trip or fall you can hurt yourself more.
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Walking is always very good after surgery especially if you’re feeling good. I would check with your PS first. I will say if you walk too much and have too much movement of your abdomen you can start swelling up again and possibly get a seroma. Just be careful with every movement.
Walking a mile 1 week after a tummy tuck
For my patients, if they are feeling well and can do it comfortably, a long walk is OK. Be sure to check with your surgeon.