The Role Of Exercise After Body Contouring Surgery

By April 15, 2024News

Body contouring surgery, such as abdominoplasty is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat and can help improve your abdomen’s appearance. The surgery itself is reasonably routine, and your surgeon at Southern Aesthetic will walk you through the procedure, risks, and steps required to get ready for your body contouring surgery in Sydney.

What is equally important is how you manage the time and recovery process after the surgery. Exercise plays a crucial role during this post-operative phase. But, of course, you need to make sure that you’re doing the right exercise in order to properly manage the healing process. Here is a common timeline to keep in mind, but also understand that each individual will heal differently, and this might change the timelines.

  1. Early Weeks Post-Surgery: Rest and Gradual Movement
  2. Rest and Healing: In the immediate aftermath of surgery, prioritise rest. Allow your body to initiate its natural healing process. The goals at this stage are to reduce swelling and allow for proper wound healing, and strengthening of the treated area.

    Walking: Walking is highly beneficial at this stage. Advancements in science have helped doctors ensure that you’ll be able to start walking almost as soon as your surgery has been finished, and indeed that this will help improve recovery. In fact, walking during the first 24 hours after surgery is commonly advised these days. You can stand up to walk every few hours for at least a few minutes at a time. With every day that passes, you will be able to walk more each day.

  3. Weeks 2-4 Post-Surgery: Gradual Increase in Activity
  4. Continue Walking: Once you reach the two-week mark, continue walking and gradually increase the distance each day.

    Light Cycling: Patients can also add some light cycling (using a stationary machine) if they wish.

    Avoid Heavy Lifting: No heavy lifting during this phase. For example, lifting heavy groceries 14 days after surgery is not a good idea, and if you had muscle repair, avoid core exercises for now.

  5. Weeks 4-6 Post-Surgery: Introducing Low-Impact Aerobics

Low-Impact Aerobics: Start introducing low-impact aerobics, such as a rowing machine. Longer walks are now possible, so go ahead and enjoy the outdoors.
Lifting Light Weights: For both arms and legs, you can add light weights to your exercise routine. Remember to take it slow—you are still healing. Push yourself a bit more each day, but don’t go overboard. If you feel pain, stop. Wound breakdown is still possible at this stage. Stretching and intense exercise are not advised.

Weeks 6-8 Post-Surgery: Full Exercise Routine

Hooray! Most patients can get back to a full exercise routine at this stage. Note that body lift patients and certain extensive procedures (e.g., fleur de lis abdominoplasty) may need another couple of weeks to reach this stage. Patients who have had a muscle repair (rectus abdominus repair) can start gentle core exercises.

Basic Full Exercise: Regardless of the type of procedure you had, this is not the time to start a brand-new or vigorous exercise program. Basic full exercise is all that is needed in this phase of recovery.

Remember, it’s important to be patient with this process to achieve the results that you are looking for. At Southern Aesthetic, we will be active in reaching out to ensure that your recovery is going well, but don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any concerns at any stage. 

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