Working out 11 Weeks Post Op, Full TT with Muscle Repair - Swelling

I went back to the gym at my 11 week mark.I did resume light exercise at 6 weeks however arthritis in my knee put a halt to that.I did 10 sprints at an incline several lunges at an incline,light weights and jogged(went to the gym Mon & Tue). That was two days ago and I feel swollen both in my lower and upper part of my abdomen and have some discomfort(not too painful)I'm worried that I over did it and might have caused some damage. Is that a possibility this far out of my surgery?

Doctor Answers 7

Post tummy tuck exercize

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When resuming any exercize regimen after a tummy tuck, do so in a graded fashion.  It is unreasonable to expect that when you return to the gym after soft tissue healing is sufficiently mature, that you can begin at the point at which you left off.  At the eleven week mark, soft tissue healing is substantially complete and it is unlikely that you have caused any permanent damage.  I would allow for a period of time for the soreness and swelling to resolve prior to attempting those specific exercizes again.  I might suggest that you return to using a compression garment if one was provided post operatively or ask your surgeon if one can be ordered.  At times, there is increased lymphatic flow in operated tissues with exercize in the post operative period that may last up to six months.  Patients can control this microswelling and the accompanying soreness with use of a compression garment.  If your symptoms don't resolve quickly with rest, I would suggest that you follow up with your surgeon so that he may examine you and give a more definitive opinion.

Excercise after tummy tuck, sprints, lunges, weights?

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Anytime exercise is stopped for a period of time, injury, season change, and yes major surgery, you have to begin with a base and a core of fitness. I am surprised that more than your abdomen isn't swollen and sore. Start as though you are new to the gym and build aerobic fitness with low impact; recumbent bike, spin, elliptical, incline treadmill, swim. Low impact is key, and graduate time and intensity (not sprinting). Use support, a weight lift waist wrap, yet no lifting. When you hit 60 minutes of sustained effort, then start sprinting, but that should be three months away.

Best of luck,


Swelling 11 weeks after a tummy tuck

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I do not think you have caused any significant damage at this point. The impact exercising is the most likely cause of the swelling, the things like running and bouncing up and down. Some short term swelling is common with those activities this far out and massage, ice and some compression should make it better. With time, the degree of swelling will be less and less until it is totally healed and then it will no longer occur.


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It is not uncommon to develop swelling after straining. I would not expect that you caused any permanent damage but perhaps you should allow the swelling to resolve and start a "lighter" program that slowly progresses.

Exercise after tummy tuck

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The main reason for limiting exercise in the early stages post tummy tuck is to protect the abdominal wall plication. By eight weeks this is usually solidly healed and it is unlikely to be disrupted by exercise. Most likely the swelling you experienced will resolve, although in some cases intermittent swelling can occur with or without exercise. I would suggest scaling back the intensity of your workouts for the time being. If significant swelling and or pain persists have your surgeon take a look.

Workout after tummy tuck? When?

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I allow my full tummy tucks to be back at the gym in 2 weeks and 75% full at 3 and 100%  full workout at 4 weeks.  Woumd healing studies show near full wound strength at 3 weeks and full at 4 weeks.   It may hurt a little to work out and you may swell a little but you cannot hurt yourself in such activity.  A properly done tummy tuck with a 3 or 4 layer rectus diastasis repair will not be affected in any negative way.   I feel early exercise is very important for maximum result.  Best.  Dr Commons

Working out after tummy tuck

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It sounds like you may have overdone it with the exercise on those two days but does not seem like you caused any damage from the amout of discomfort you describe.  Any tearing of the muscle repair would have likely caused more pain.  If your symptoms do not improve, I would have your surgeon take a look.

Lawrence C. Lin, MD
Long Island 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.