Exercise is an important factor in maintaining a healthy mind and body, and feeling and looking great. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure that can help accentuate or increase the effects when exercise is not achieving the desired results. This surgery removes excess skin and strengthens and tightens the muscles in the abdomen region to help to develop a sculpted and toned appearance.
After having a tummy tuck, it is understandable to want to get back to exercising to continue to gain the health benefits. As with any major surgical procedure, it is important to know what is involved in the recovery process and what type of exercise you can undertake to ensure safety and promote healing.
Having a tummy tuck is a significant surgical procedure that can help you achieve your body goals. When it comes to exercising after the procedure, it is crucial to follow your surgeon’s advice. Read more about what is involved.
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What Is Involved In A Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure in which a horizontal incision is made along the pubic hairline to remove excess or stretched skin and fat of the tummy. The length of this incision is dependent on the extent of skin removal required, and a second cut may be made around the belly button if necessary.
You will need to wait at least 12 months after your most recent pregnancy before having this procedure. Additionally, your body needs to be stabilised in terms of weight and skin changes for at least 12 months before an abdominoplasty surgery.
Recovery can take approximately three months. The process can involve symptoms such as pain, bruising, numbness, and difficulty standing straight, and it is important to follow advice and guidelines regarding pain relief, wound care, compression garments, and daily activity.
When Can I Start Exercising After A Tummy Tuck?
It is important that you follow the advice of your surgeon and do not partake in heavy lifting for a minimum of six weeks post surgery.
A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure and subsequently, the body must be able to heal sufficiently. Becoming active and starting to exercise too soon can have detrimental effects, both in the short and long term.
Like recovering from many surgeries, it is important to move to a certain extent after a tummy tuck to reduce the risk of issues such as blood clots. In the first fortnight after the procedure, gentle, light walking is suggested, alongside rest and assistance with activities of daily life. The inflammation caused by the surgery can subside after approximately two weeks. At this time, the amount and frequency of gentle walking can most likely be increased.
After approximately a month and guidance from the surgeon, more cardio activities and lower body exercises may be introduced. These should not involve engaging or stretching the abdominal muscles. These muscles will take approximately two to three months to heal, so activating them too early can slow the healing process or cause damage.
Once the abdominal region has had approximately three months to heal, exercises involving the abdominal region may be introduced if approved. These should begin gently and be integrated slowly into a routine guided by any pain or discomfort.
What Type Of Exercises Should I Do?
Walking is a great way to encourage blood flow and reduce muscle and joint stiffness. During the first fortnight, light walking for approximately ten minutes may be advised. Increasing walking timeframes should be done slowly and gently. After approximately a month, walking for forty-five to sixty minutes a day may be possible.
When approval is provided for the introduction of lower body exercises after approximately a month, moves such as squats can be added. When the muscles and wound have healed adequately and the abdominal region can become involved, exercises such as leg raises, stability activities, knee tucks, and Pilates may be useful. It is important to receive guidance regarding which activities are most suitable and how much to do for the best results.
Heal And Exercise Effectively After A Tummy Tuck
When recovering from a tummy tuck procedure, it is crucial to take care and follow the surgeon’s guidance. Exercise and daily activities that involve movements such as lifting, raising, pushing, and pulling objects, should be minimalised, avoided or assisted as advised. If the body is not able to heal properly during the recovery process, significant issues with the sutures, skin, and abdominal muscles can occur. Recovery should also include a focus on other lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and rest.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, please contact us for an initial consultation to discuss your options.