6 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck, MR and Implants, when and What Type of Core Exercises Should I Be Doing?

I am an active Mom of 5 (spin, running, interval training, step, etc.) I started back at the gym at week 5 doing low impact step class, stair master, interval training) but am concerned about when I can start doing bench presses, planks and mountain climbers. Is there a recommended amount of time to wait before starting any core exercises? How long should I wait to start bench presses and all other exercises laying on my back or with my back supported on the bench?

Doctor Answers 8

Exercise and Activity After a Mommy Makeover

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The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are 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.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Typically-- wait 6 weeks.

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The abdominoplasty that’s performed as part of the Mommy Makeover removes excess abdominal skin while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles.Patients can anticipate limited physical activity for two weeks following surgery.At two weeks, they are allowed to gradually resume normal activities with the exception of strenuous activities.Patients can usually return to work in two weeks if no strenuous activity is involved.
After six weeks, patients can resume all their normal activities including heavy lifting, core exercises and strenuous activities.It’s important to go slowly at first and gradually resume your normal exercise program.This process takes an additional two to three weeks. Make sure you listen to your body.If you are not ready for a specific activity, your body will let you know.

Exercise resumption after Tummy Tuck

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After 6 weeks if there were no complications it should be fine to resume core exercises starting out slow and progressing especially if there is no discomfort. Start out with low resistance/weights and high reps as tolerated then advance progressively.

Mommy Makeover

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Remain in low-impact exercise until at least 6-8 weeks.  Allow healing to complete, and not risk injury before healing has had a time to finish.  Start with low weight, then gradually move up in weight.  You will know when is the right time.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Exercising after Mommy Makeover

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I would ask you to let your plastic surgeon know about your activity and what you would like to do and then follow his/her advice. I recommend to my patients to take it easy after tummy tuck surgery for a couple of months (you don't want to cause complications by doing things too soon) and I don't recommend chest exercises for at least 3 months (sometimes longer depending on how the patient is healing).

Abdominal exercises after mommy makeover surgery

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There are no controlled studies to address your question scientifically, so expect different answers!

My regimen is based on common sense for a lack of a better term.  It takes approximately three months for your body to form a capsule around a breast implant,  Therefore, I ask my patients to avoid any chest (pectoralis)  exercises for the first three months (to reduce muscle spasm which may push the implant up).

I also recommend avoiding any abdominal or core exercises for six months, since the sutures placed to tighten the abdominal muscle take that long to scar adequately and reduce the risk of break-down.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Resumption of work-out regimen after abdominal and breast surgery

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It is great that you have already resumed some of your workout regimen. Because your plastic surgeon was the one who operated on you, you should ask him/her exactly what you can and cannot do at this point in time as well as a time frame for resuming the remainder of your regimen.

There are many different recommendations among plastic surgeons as to limitations of activities and times after this type of combination surgery as there is not just one "correct" answer.  Furthermore, these can even vary among different groups of patients of the same physician. Generally, my patients can resume all activities by 8 weeks including weight training and sit-ups. 

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

Breast implants and tummy tuck post op exercising

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It is commendable that you want to quickly resume your full exercise program.  This should have been a discussion with your surgeon before surgery.  When I put implants under the muscle, I generally restrict women from doing bench presses or any exercises which cause very forceful contractions of the chest muscles (the pectoralis muscles), because on occasion they can push the implants downwards causing "bottoming out" where there is greater distance and ballooning out of the skin between the crease and the nipple. This is more risky with the larger implants over 350 cc, but can happen with smaller implants with any strenous exercise using the arms. So, please check with your surgeon if he or she feels that could happen in your case.

Usually by 5-6  weeks, other exercises would be OK, but again, you should check with your surgeon because there may be specific differences in your procedure, such as repairs to your fascia, hernias, and so on which might require additional healing time.

Joseph Rabson, MD (retired)
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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.