(Updated for 2019)
Tummy tuck patients are often anxious to know when they can resume their exercise routine after having surgery, and men and women are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle following any type of body contouring to maximize the chance of life-long results. So when does the recovery time end and an active lifestyle begin?
Days 1 to 10 after Tummy Tuck
This is most critical time in the tummy tuck recovery period. As tempted as you may be to try some light exercises, you should remain relaxed most of the time. You can gradually practice walking around the house, first with and then without assistance.
2 Weeks Post-Surgery
2 weeks after surgery is typically the earliest possible time that patients can begin some very easy activity. Try light walking, up to a mile twice a day, but continue to avoid strenuous activities, and also avoid prolonged standing of two hours or more.
4 Weeks Post-Surgery
By this time, you should feel comfortable enough to do some brisk walking. You can also ride a stationary bike and lift some light weights, but avoid aggravating your tummy muscles, which may cause incisions to tear.
6 to 12 Weeks Post-Surgery
Many patients are tempted to fully resume a workout regimen by a month or two after surgery. However, while you may feel well enough for strenuous activity, to maintain the best tummy tuck results, you should continue to avoid strenuous ab workouts or heavier lifting until at least the 12-week mark. Prior to this, you can gradually incorporate more gentle activities, such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, aerobics, and jogging.
While tummy tuck recovery is gradual, the results can make the wait well worthwhile. Follow Dr. Koehler’s post-operative care instructions, and if you feel unsure of any particular exercise, contact him before trying it on your own.