A tummy tuck procedure helps to tighten the abdominal muscles using special staples or sutures. The muscles then heal in a closed position where pregnancy forced them apart during pregnancy. Exercise following a tummy tuck needs to incorporate the healing muscles as well as the overall health of a patient in recovery.
The First Two Weeks
In the first weeks following the surgery, the patient will be on pain medication and have difficulty moving at times as the incision and muscle repair beneath the skin heal. It is dangerous for patients to do any serious workouts at this point due not only to the newness of the wound, but the possibility of disorientation from the pain medication as well. During the first two weeks, patients should be up and moving throughout the home or taking small walks around the block to encourage healthy blood flow. Vigorous activities should be avoided, however.
The Next Four Weeks
After the first two weeks, some of the restrictions on patients are lifted as far as exercise is concerned. Patients are encouraged to walk at a moderate rate to encourage healing and health, but activities that make the heart beat wildly or increase blood flow tremendously should be avoided as increases in heart rate can cause bleeding at the incision site. Moderate exercises like walking or using an elliptical machines are reasonable – heavy weight lifting, swimming and possibly biking should be avoided as they can cause problems with the still healing incision.
After Six Weeks
After six weeks, the incision is healed, all drains have been removed and the patients should feel healthy and “normal” again. At this time, the patient can then ease comfortably back into a more strenuous workout routine. Only after six weeks should patients resume exercises that target the core muscles, however, as crunches or even some pilates or yoga moves could harm the body before that time.