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Exercise After Plastic Surgery: A Timeline for Patients By Vishnu Rumalla on January 31, 2017

A woman exercisingAfter undergoing any sort of surgical procedure, it's important that patients get ample rest. This is something we always stress to patients at our Fort Worth plastic surgery center. After a body contouring and sculpting surgery, ample rest means quicker healing and fewer complications.

Of course, many people want to get back to the gym, strap on their running shoes, or get back to yoga as soon as possible. After surgery, you need put the old exercise routine on hold for a few weeks. Let's explain why.

The Dangers of Pushing Yourself Too Hard

Exercising too soon after surgery or engaging in any sort of strenuous physical activity after surgery can potentially open up incision sites and lead to longer healing times. This means greater risk of infection, bleeding, major scaring, and more serious complications.

When Can I Resume Normal Exercise?

In general, it's best to resume some normal exercise about five weeks after surgery. That said, you need to take things slowly to ensure you do not put your body and the surgical results at risk.

Walking After Plastic Surgery

While heavy lifting and cardio are out of the question until several weeks after surgery, all patients are encouraged to walk just a little bit each day after surgery. This promotes blood circulation and helps prevent blood clots from forming in the legs. This is one way that people anxious to exercise can get some physical activity into their day as they recover.

A Six-Week Timeline for Exercise

Here is a general and helpful timeline for patients regarding walking and exercise. While it can vary for some patients (especially after major body lift procedures), this gives you a good idea of what to expect.

  • One Week After Surgery – Three 5-minute walks a day
  • Two Weeks After Surgery – Three 10-minute walks a day
  • Three Weeks After Surgery – Three 15-minute walks a day
  • Four Weeks After Surgery – Four 15-minute walks a day
  • Five Weeks After Surgery – Return to light exercise, cardio, and stretching
  • Six Weeks After Surgery – Slightly increase the intensity of last week's workouts

From week to week, you'll continue to increase the intensity of your workouts, but doing so slowly. By the end of the second month, you'll likely be able to engage in normal exercise and lifting, Strenuous workouts may need more time, of course, but you can discuss this with your surgeon.

Take Things at Your Own Pace

The most important aspect to recovery and exercise is that you take the healing process at your own pace. Don't push yourself too hard in that first two months of healing. Take your workout at your own pace, and pay attention to the needs of your body.

Contact Tarrant Plastic Surgery

For more information about recovering from plastic surgery and how you can achieve optimal results, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. The team at Tarrant Plastic Surgery is here to help you look great and feel great.

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Dr. Vishnu Rumalla

Tarrant Plastic Surgery

Dr. Vishnu Rumalla is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving patients throughout the Greater Fort Worth area. He is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Surgery

Contact our practice using our form or call us at (817) 334-0030 to request an appointment.

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