A Timeline for Exercise After Undergoing Plastic Surgery

By Dr. Suzanne Yee on January 13, 2017


A pair of friends joggingAfter any sort of surgery has been performed, your primary concern should be resting. Getting ample rest after a surgical procedure helps you heal faster, avoiding major side effects and serious complications. This is why people are advised to take time off from work and avoid strenuous activities. Rest is part of the recovery equation, especially after body contouring and sculpting surgery.

Of course, this may be an issue for people who were used to active lifestyles before their surgery was performed. Regardless, your focus needs to be on rest early on. The team at our Little Rock practice would like to explain why this is so.

Why Exercising Too Early Could Be Dangerous

If a patient exercises too soon after their surgery, they can put the results of the procedure and their health at risk. Heavy lifting and straining or major cardio can lead ti incision site re-opening, which can lead to infection, large scars, and increased recovery times. The issues may be so severe that corrective surgeries are required to fix the damage done.

Because of the many risks related to strenuous activity after surgery, patients will be advised to wait a few weeks before they return to their normal exercise routines. Better to be safe than sorry in these scenarios.

Light Walking After Your Surgery

While major exercise is a bad idea after surgery, a little bit of walking can go a long way toward recovery. Walking after surgery promotes circulation, which in turn prevents blood clots from forming in your legs and causing major complications. Considering light walking to be your warm up to your full exercise routine. In the first week, you will not want to walk too much, but the walking will increase as you heal in the ensuing weeks.

A Week-by-Week Walking Timeline

Below is a general timeline to consider when it comes to walking after you'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 per day

Keep in mind that your ability to walk and the duration of your walks may vary depending on the surgery or surgeries that were performed. Your surgeon will be able to provide you with a walking routine specific to your situation during the consultation process.

Slowly Returning to Your Normal Exercise Routine

By the fifth week after undergoing plastic surgery, patients are generally able to do light exercise. Heavy lifting is still prohibited, as is major cardio and intense yoga, but lighter workouts are recommended. Take things slow to make sure you're not pushing yourself too hard and that the exercise isn't compromising your sense of comfort.

In the weeks ahead, you can slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts. It's important that you attend all followup visits with your surgeon and follow their recommendations regarding physical activity. You'll be back to your old routine sooner than you realize.

Contact Our Plastic Surgery Center

For more information about recovering from surgery and improving your appearance and wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic skin care and plastic surgery center today. The entire team here at our practice will work with you to ensure good outcomes and excellent results.

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