Resuming Exercise After Plastic Surgery

If you have ever had surgery before, for example, a C-section or knee surgery, you probably know what it’s like to be frustrated as you’re tied to a bed. You probably couldn’t wait to get back to work or school and to your workouts.

When your doctor finally gave you the green light, your enthusiasm may have been met with disappointment after what used to be a simple walk around the neighborhood felt like climbing a mountain.

Your first post-surgery workout may have left you physically exhausted, but by carefully following your doctor’s orders, you were able to build back up your endurance and strength without causing any post-op complications.

It doesn’t matter if you spend 12 hours a week at the gym, or run 35 miles every week, you cannot escape the fact that surgery takes a toll on the human body. No matter how strong you are, you have to give your body the time it needs to heal.

Though your surgeon may say that light walking is safe after surgery, strenuous exercise too soon after a procedure can lead to minor, if not major complications.

If you have a breast augmentation or a breast reduction, liposuction, a lower body lift, or any other surgical procedure performed, it’s important that you listen carefully to your doctor’s orders, and follow their recommendations regarding exercise.

Each surgery is different as is each patient. When a patient has a procedure done, a return to exercise schedule that may be right for one patient, may not be right for another, even if both patients received the same procedure. This is because age and medical history can affect the healing process.

When can I start exercising again?

Usually, we recommend that our patients wait four to six weeks before they completely return to their previous exercise regimen; this gives their body ample time to heal. Light exercise however, may be allowed during the recovery period.

While each individual is different, patients can normally ease back into their fitness routines starting with light walking, followed by the elliptical, then aerobic type exercises, and finally weight-bearing exercises, such as weight training.

There is no need to cut back on your normal exercise routine before you have plastic surgery, but know that if you are tempted to dive in too enthusiastically following a procedure, there could be serious adverse consequences, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Delayed healing
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma), which can cause infection
  • Hematomas, bleeding or wound separation
  • Displacement of new breast implant

Depending on the procedure, we may strictly advise patients to take it easy for certain stretches of time. However, we may prescribe walking as this promotes healthy circulation while preventing complications in the lungs and legs. Additionally, stretching and yoga can enhance blood flow and an overall sense of wellbeing.

If you are an avid fitness enthusiast and are interested in having a plastic surgery procedure performed, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yuly Gorodisky. As a board certified plastic surgeon, he can help you find the safest way to return to your favorite fitness routine after your surgery.

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