Working out Post-Tummy Tuck

I had a Tummy Tuck 6 weeks ago. I tried going back to my usual workout (biking, jogging, toning, weights), but I felt pain in the upper right muscle under my breast. Am I doing more harm than good? Should I wait for another week or two before attempting to workout as usual? Please advice me on how to safely resume my workout regimen.

Doctor Answers 11

You should be able to exercise after 6 weeks.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

To barb-hoss,

Usually, 6  weeks after an abdominoplasty is more than enough time to exercise. But you have to listen to your body. If you have sharp localized pain  (as opposed to a little diffuse soreness) when you exercise, stop and see your surgeon.

Most likely, you have not done any harm.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Start Slower

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You would need your own surgeon's advice, but for my patients, I suggest resuming moderate exercise slowly at six weeks.

Rather than performing all of the activities you mentioned, I would tell them to start with one. Try it for a few days and expect mild soreness since you haven't done this for weeks and you had surgery. If it did not cause discomfort, then add another type of exercise activity. If it was uncomfortable, them progress more slowly.

It could take some time to get back to your full workout routine.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Ask your plastic surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would be irreponsible if I tried to advise you on your post-operative regimen. The best person to ask is your plastic surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Exercise after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I tell my patients to start by walking on the treadmill at 3 weeks. At two months they can resume all exercise except crunches.

Workouts should also start slowly. Do not start at the same level as you finished with prior to the surgery.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Don't jump right in

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


The idea is to start your exercising at about 6 weeks. However, even if you had simply stopped working out and not had surgery you would not expect to return immediately to your prior level of exercise. You need to start slow, listen to your body and progress slowly as your body tolerates. Expect some soreness, but it should be more generalized over the muscle groups worked. Good luck!

Exercise after abdominoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I usually have people wait 6-8 weeks to go back to heavy exertion or sit-ups.  But, I always tell my patients that that is the average.  Some people need longer, and some lesser time.  If you having pain, then you should probably wait some more.


Steven Wallach,MD

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Working Out Post-Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Healing after a  #tummy tuck 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. 

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.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

See Your Surgeon About The Pain You're Feeling After Your Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
6 weeks is usually enough time for a patient to recover following a tummy tuck. However, I always recommend they start off slowly, as your body won't be in tip top shape. You can bike, jog, strength train, or do other exercises but take it easy and stop if you feel any pain. Please see your surgeon or doctor regarding the pain you are currently feeling. 

Working out after an abdominoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your plastic surgeon is the best source for answering your questions.  For my patients I allow light activity at one week, building up to some light physical activity, walking on treadmill, elliptical between the third and fourth weeks.  I advise patients to avoid vigorous activities such as training for a road race for eight weeks.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Patients are encouraged to start gentle exercise 3 weeks after surgery such as walking and gentle stretching. As far as the abdomen, tissues should be strong enough by six weeks to allow sit-ups.Gradual increase in repetition and load is recommended. Some aches and pains are expected to occur due to the lack of activity and the scar that needs to stretch.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago 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.