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When to Resume Activity After Tummy Tuck Surgery


Updated July 17, 2014

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Activity After Tummy Tuck Surgery

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. The procedure also tightens the underlying muscles if it is necessary. Here's what to expect in terms of resuming activities after a tummy tuck, such as exercising after a tummy tuck.

Activity After Tummy Tuck Surgery
  • You may shower with assistance 24 hours after surgery.

  • Eat lightly after surgery initially, increasing your intake and types of food as tolerated.

  • You will need to ask your surgeon about how long to stay out of work, depending on the type of abdominoplasty you had. For more extensive tummy tucks, expect to take about ten days off.

  • Limit your activity to your daily routine. Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling objects over five pounds for six weeks. Doing so will cause pressure and stress on your surgery area.

  • Check with your surgeon before resuming exercise. You may and should start walking the night after surgery. More strenuous exercise should be avoided for six weeks.

  • Driving should not be done until you are pain-free and completely off of pain medications. This is for your safety and the safety of others.

  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach until all soreness has subsided. You may find that sleeping on three pillows under your back/head and/or two pillows under your knees may reduce discomfort. Additionally, you will be more easily able to transition from a lying to a sitting position due to less stress on your abdomen.

  • Sex after a tummy tuck should be resumed when your surgeon states it is okay and more importantly, when you feel ready.

  • Pain medications may cause constipation. You may take an over-the-counter stool softener, such as Colace or Docusate to avoid constipation.
More About Tummy Tuck Recovery:
  • How to Care for Your Abdomen and Incision After a Tummy Tuck
  • How to Manage Your Pain After a Tummy Tuck

  • Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures:
  • Recovery After Plastic Surgery - All Procedures
  • Sources:

    Aly A. Abdominoplasty and Lower Truncal Circumferential Body Contouring. In Thorne CHM, Beasely RW, Aston SJ, Bartlett SP, Gurtner GC, Spear S, eds. Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2007.

    American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Tummy Tuck Recovery. Accessed May 22, 2011.

    Shestak KC, Fedele GM. Abdominoplasty. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

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