Exercise After Plastic Surgery: A Timeline for Patients

By Dr. William Cohen on December 27, 2016

Two friends runningIn the aftermath of a plastic surgery procedure, especially a body contouring and sculpting surgery, rest is your primary concern. Getting ample rest will help with the healing and recovery process, and it will help you avoid serious complications and major side effects. Because of this, it's important that you avoid strenuous physical activity and get as much rest a possible.

We stress this to all patients at our Orange County center. As you continue to recover, you can return to regular physical activity and exercise. Let's go over some basics about recovery after plastic surgery and what you can expect.

The Risks of Exercising Too Soon

Exercising too soon after plastic surgery can result in harm to the incision sites. In the early days and even weeks of surgical recovery, this can mean seriously aggravating the wounds and prolonging the surgical recovery process. Pain and discomfort may become more pronounced, and there is a serious risk of making post-surgical scarring far worse.

Avoiding Strenuous Activity and Overexertion

In the first weeks after surgery, it's important that you avoid heavy lifting, strenuous physical activity, major cardio, and even sexual activity. Take it easy as you recover, attending all follow-up visits with your surgeon and giving yourself time to be free from stress and focused on healing.

Walking a Bit to Promote Circulation

Even though major exercise after surgery is a poor idea, patients are encouraged to get a little bit of walking in each day. Walking just a bit as part of the recovery process can help prevent blood clots from forming in the legs and serious complications thereafter. Walks should be relatively brief and in the home, just enough to promote circulation rather than break a sweat.

A Slow Return to Exercise

In general, patients should consider this exercise/walking timeline after they've undergone plastic surgery.

  • First Week After Surgery – Three 5-minute walks a day
  • Second Week After Surgery – Three 10-minute walks a day
  • Third Week After Surgery – Three 15-minute walks a day
  • Fourth Week After Surgery – Four 15-minute walks a day

By the end of a month after plastic surgery, patients can ask their surgeons about returning to normal exercise and daily activities. If you have a physically demanding job, you can also ask about when you can return to all of your normal job duties.

Keep in mind that it may be a few more weeks before you can return to heavy lifting and major cardio.

Taking It Slow for Best Results

By following instructions from your cosmetic surgeon and taking things slow, you can avoid many serious complications and major side effects of surgery. While exercise will be your key to good health in the long run, be sure to take things slow early on, and to ask questions and voice concerns about these matters with your cosmetic surgeon.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Recovery

For more information about exercising after you have undergone plastic surgery and what you can expect from the recovery process, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. Our team will help you heal quickly and get back to your normal routine.

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Orange Office

1010 W La Veta Ave
Ste 445
Orange, CA 92868

More Info Directions (714) 628-1313