A very common question that women have regarding activities following a tummy tuck is: “When can I do everything that I want to do?” This also can be asked as “When will I not have any restrictions of my activities?” Interestingly, if you ask around, you will obtain quite a diversity of recommendations. The answer can be very important as you want uneventful healing and no complications. The guidelines that I have for my patients are based not only on science but also on years of experience as to what truly works and what is safe.
My patients are instructed to begin ambulation immediately following their abdominoplasty for many reasons with the most important one being to try to minimize the risk of blood clots developing in the legs which can then also migrate to the lungs resulting in what is called a pulmonary embolus, a condition that can occasionally be fatal. Usually, you can expect to feel fairly tired and weak for at least a week or more, sometimes even up to several months. This gradually improves with time, much faster in some than others.
You can resume normal, non-strenuous and non-vigorous activities as tolerated. That means casual walking but not running, driving when you feel comfortable and are not on narcotic pain medication and no lifting greater than around 10 – 15 pounds. At around three to four weeks you can walk fast but not run a treadmill and also ride a bicycle, preferably a stationary one.
At eight weeks following your tummy tuck, you are allowed to engage in all your normal activities as tolerated and without restrictions unless otherwise advised. This includes weight lifting, sit-ups, full aerobic exercising, horseback riding and most sports. If you have any questions about certain esoteric or extremely strenuous activities, please ask.
For more information on tummy tuck surgery or on any other plastic surgical procedures that I perform, or to schedule your free consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona