Continuing a healthy lifestyle such as eating nutritious foods and exercising are helpful in maintaining your tummy tuck results and preventing weight gain. Naturally, patients want to get back to their workout routine following surgery. But recovery is a necessary part of your journey, and too much too soon could lead to complications. Therefore, Dr. Aviva Preminger, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Manhattan, shares general exercise guidelines to follow after your tummy tuck.
It’s important to note that everyone’s post-op recovery will vary, depending on your health before your surgery, the extent of your surgery, and how fast you heal. Therefore, it is essential to follow your doctor’s post-op instructions as our guideline is a general rule of thumb, which may not be suitable for all patients that have received a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.
The first 24-hours focus mostly on resting, as anesthesia will begin wearing off. Good nutrition and hydration are essential during this time, which provides your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to recover. However, the first movements you will focus on will be sitting up and standing for short periods, which help blood circulation and your recovery. However, please don’t overdo it and avoid straining or lifting anything heavy. Ideally, a relative or close friend should stay with you the first night and day after your surgery to assist during these transitions.
One to Two Weeks
Dr. Preminger usually has tummy tuck patients wear a compression garment for the first few weeks following their surgery, which reduces swelling and helps maximize your results. During this phase, you should still avoid lifting heavy objects. Focus on taking small steps around your house, like to the kitchen or bathroom, to build up your stamina. As you feel up to it, walk a little further each day, like to your porch or mailbox. By the end of week two, you should be recovered enough to return to work if you have a desk job. However, if your job requires manual labor or heavy lifting, you may need additional time off before returning.
Three to Four Weeks
If your recovery has gone smooth up to this point, Dr. Preminger may recommend light exercise like walking. However, avoid vigorous exercises, weightlifting, or exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles like sit-ups. As you walk, step softly and avoid jarring your body while maintaining good posture.
Four to Six Weeks
Check with your Manhattan plastic surgeon first, but swimming, light aerobics, and riding a recumbent bike (the type of bike that has you sitting in a seated position, not hunched over like a regular outdoor bike) may be ideal forms of exercising for you. If you prefer, you can take longer walks to get your cardio in. In some cases, as approved by your doctor, light weights may be incorporated into your workout for your arms or legs.
Eight Weeks and Beyond
At this point, most forms of exercise can be resumed. However, we say this with a word of caution because everyone’s case is unique. Usually, spin classes, swimming, and jogging are excellent forms of aerobic activity that build stamina and allows you to maintain a healthy weight to prevent weight gain. However, check with your doctor before resuming core work or strength training that focuses on your abdominals. Jumping into these exercises too soon could result in prolonged swelling, delaying your results. Therefore, it may be best to wait several months following your tummy tuck before you do these types of exercises.
Tummy Tucks in Manhattan and New York City
Getting a tummy tuck can be an exciting time, and it is understandable that you’d want to get to the end of your recovery as quickly as possible. However, be patient with yourself, and allow your body to heal. There are ways to incorporate light exercise early on during your recovery without compromising your results. If you have experienced any complications during your recovery, this exercise guide may not be for you. However, the guide may be useful in helping you know what to expect and when in regard to planning your recovery. If you would like to know which types of exercises are best for you, please speak with Dr. Preminger or call our office at (212) 706-1900 or contact us today.