When Can I Exercise Following a Tummy Tuck?
With a tummy tuck, part of the procedure is tightening the stretched muscle wall, removing the excess skin, and, of course, bringing the skin back together with sutures. The muscle tightening and transfigured skin can be affected by too much strain or stress. With muscle wall tightening (also known as muscle plication) especially, strain can cause the area to stretch. This strain, or force from exercising too soon, can create problems with muscle plication.
The exercise restrictions I place on patients after a tummy tuck include no exercise whatsoever. Aerobic exercise, running, jogging, or lifting anything over 8 pounds may cause the muscle repair process to stretch or even break. (I have seen both of these occur in patients who have not followed instructions). If too much strain is placed on the tummy tuck incision, it could cause wound healing problems or disruption of the skin. Both of these could lead to a bigger scar or a revision procedure.
When these exercise restrictions are followed, you can minimize the chance of these problems from happening. Make sure you read through the instructions I give you, at the time of surgery and during the pre-op visit. Making sure you are honest about your initial medical history and any subsequent issues that occur after surgery can help avoid exercise induced problems.