Exercise Timeline after Plastic Surgery
Many prospective patients who book an initial consultation visit with our surgeons at Jefferson Plastic Surgery are looking at plastic surgery as the finishing touch in order to show off the results of their hard work to get into better physical shape. Body contouring procedures, such as tummy tucks, thigh lifts, arm lifts, and breast lifts are often performed to remove excess skin and tighten underlying tissue and muscles following dramatic weight loss.
More often than not, these patients have an established exercise routine that has served them well in terms of helping them shed excess pounds. Many are eager to get back to it as soon as possible following their plastic surgery. In fact, questions about how to get back to exercise are among the most common concerns that our surgeons field from patients who have undergone body contouring procedures. Below is a guideline that our surgeons recommend if you are looking to get back to your regular exercise routine.
First Few Days after Surgery
In almost all cases, your surgery will be done in a surgery center, meaning that you will go home the same day, rather than having to stay overnight in the hospital. In such cases, you will be encouraged to move around in the first few days after surgery, even if it is just to get to the bathroom and then back to bed. This is to help get your circulation moving so that blood and fluids do not pool, which may increase the amount of bruising and swelling.
First Week after Surgery
You will still be feeling tired during this time, which is the most crucial part of your healing period. However, you will still need to move as much as possible to keep the blood and fluids circulating. Our surgeons recommend short, slow walks throughout the day, mostly just around your house. If you are up to it, you can try venturing outside for brief walks, but don’t push past your limits.
Second Week after Surgery
At this point, you should be past most of the initial healing phase and feeling somewhat stronger. You can now extend the length of your walks and more easily go up and down stairs. You may also find that other light activities, such as gentle yoga and stretching, can be incorporated into your exercise routine. However, it is still crucial to pay attention to your body and not place excessive stress on your sutures.
Third to Fourth Week after Surgery
By now, you can usually start easing back into your regular exercise routine, although at a lighter level. This can include light aerobics, such as jogging or slow work on a stationary bike or elliptical, as well as light weight lifting. Of course, you should consult with your regular doctor before starting your exercise routine.
Fourth to Sixth Week after Surgery
By the fourth to sixth week, you can probably ramp up your exercise to a moderate level just below your regular routine. Take the next two weeks to work up to your full level, but check in with your regular doctor and your plastic surgeon beforehand.
Of course, never push yourself too hard. If you feel that you have overdone it, just take a step down and slowly work back up again. Remember, giving your body the time it needs to recover will benefit you in the long run and assure that you will be satisfied with the results from your surgery.