When to resume physical activities after the tummy tuck
Resuming normal daily activities after the tummy tuck can take up to two weeks after the procedure. Most patients tend to believe that once they are ready to get back to work and the recovery period is over, they can do all the things they did before getting the tummy tuck and at the same intensity. However, a responsible and experienced plastic surgeon will tell you that it can take up to two and even three months before it is recommended to resume sports and other physically demanding activities after the tummy tuck.
When the tummy tuck is performed, the plastic surgeon will perform one or multiple incisions. The main incision will be positioned on the lower part of the tummy, on the suprapubic area. Using this incision, the plastic surgeon will be able to tighten the loose abdominal muscles and also re-drape the skin on the tummy and remove the excess tissue. Depending on the complexity of each case, the incision can even be as long as from hip bone to hip bone. After the surgery, the incision is sutured and elastic dressings are placed on top of it.
The incision left behind after the tummy tuck is quite significant, and the plastic surgeon will advise you to avoid certain things to not put unnecessary pressure that could trigger wound dehiscence. Moreover, the patient is advised to avoid coughing and sneezing for a few weeks to avoid the opening of the surgical incisions. Compression garments are mandatory to be worn non-stop after the procedure to reduce the swelling and also help with scarring.
To be able to avoid wound opening, the patient is advised to avoid even simple daily activities such as lifting objects from the floor and even overstretching to open a door or similar movements. A recommended position for standing and walking is with the body slightly bent forward, and the position lying down should be the same. All these recommendations are valid for the first two weeks post-op. After this period, most patients can resume work and most of their activities, but only if they have the green light from the plastic surgeon.
The patient can return to the gym or resume other physical activities such as sports no sooner than six weeks post-op and only with the doctor’s consent. The recommendation is to start working out in positions that are comfortable and also have a gradual approach to the training. Lifting heavy weights shortly after the procedure could cause wound opening and other complications that could otherwise be avoided.
Patients are advised to discuss this issue in detail with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation and also during the follow-ups. It is important both for the health of the patient and the success of the procedure not to resume physically demanding activities before your body is ready.