3 Things That Are Off-Limits After a Tummy Tuck

Post Abdominoplasty

One of plastic surgery’s top five procedures, tummy tuck has several variants. An extended tummy tuck involves most of the abdomen, along with the lower back and possibly the lower chest, while a “mini-tuck” focuses on just the bottom of the abdomen.

No matter the type of tummy tuck you undergo, there are certain activities you must not perform until getting clearance from the surgeon. That is true of any abdominal surgery.  How long these actions remain off-limits depend on the type of tummy tuck and the patient’s overall condition. Following the doctor’s orders is critical to a smooth recovery.

Vigorous Exercise

After a tummy tuck, avoid vigorous exercise for at least six weeks. Ask your surgeon about what exercises you can and cannot perform. Mild exercise, such as walking, is generally beneficial, but engaging in strong exercise can lead to slower healing.

There are plenty of less-than-strenuous exercises that can aid in healing after your tummy tuck. Your doctor will discuss what you can and cannot do, and provide a schedule of how soon after surgery you can start these simpler exercises.

Heavy Lifting

Until cleared by the doctor, do not perform any heavy lifting for several weeks after the operation. If you are a parent, that includes picking up small children. Medium-sized dogs and cats are also on the forbidden list. Heavy lifting is often defined as lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds, but your doctor will instruct you on a specific weight limit. If you are not sure how much something weighs, do not try to lift it.

Lifting increases abdominal pressure, and could stress the incision and cause it to bleed or break open.


Cigarette smoking is harmful on many levels, and that includes recuperation from surgery. Smoking slows down healing and increases the likelihood of complications. Smokers are generally not encouraged to undergo elective surgeries such as tummy tucks until they quit, so do not decide to take up the habit again once your surgery is completed.

According to the renowned Mayo Clinic, smoking after tummy tuck surgery can result in damaged or dead fatty tissue deep within the abdomen. In some cases, this tissue damage or death may require another surgical procedure for repair.

Contact Dr. Greenwald

If you have questions about tummy tuck and what you should do prior to and after the procedure, Dr. Greenwald invites you to schedule an informational consultation. Please contact our office today to request an appointment.

Dr. Joshua Greenwald is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City who studied and trained at prestigious educational institutions including Columbia University, Emory University, and New York University School of Medicine. His keen aesthetic eye and refined surgical techniques have led him to be a top choice for cosmetic face, breast, and body procedures in NYC. His exceptional patient care has earned him the distinction of “Top Doc” by both Westchester Magazine and Castle & Connolly for over 10 years running. Dr. Greenwald is an active member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, and the Westchester County Medical Society.