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When Can I Start Exercising after Plastic Surgery?

By Dennis Hurwitz on January 21, 2017

A woman in exercise clothes stretching her legPlastic surgery is an effective way to enhance the appearance and address trouble areas that cannot be addressed with diet and exercise. Body contouring is a popular treatment because it targets stubborn fatty areas for a more streamlined, toned appearance. When it comes to maintaining results after plastic surgery, exercise is key, but it's important to allow time to recover from plastic surgery before returning to routine exercise.

During patient consultations, Dr. Dennis Hurwitz details the exercise timeline after plastic surgery. Contact our Pittsburgh, PA office to receive your personalized timeline. In the meantime, read on for a general exercise timeline after plastic surgery.  

The First Three to Five Days of Recovery

Every person who undergoes plastic surgery will have a unique recovery experience based on personal healing times, along with the type and number of surgeries performed. Although each recovery is unique, most follow a typical timeline.

During the first few days after surgery, patients should expect to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising. Pain medication is typically prescribed to help manage discomfort and ice packs and compression garments may be used to reduce swelling. Strenuous exercise, like weight lifting and jogging, should be avoided because they can increase the risk of complications. With that said, light walking is often recommended during the initial recovery phase. Walking is beneficial during recovery because it reduces the risk of developing blood clots in the legs and encourages blood circulation.

One to Two Weeks after Surgery

Within two weeks of surgery, patients may feel well enough to return to work, but should still refrain from strenuous exercise and activity. At this point, pain and swelling should lessen and will continue to decrease as the body heals. Exercise during this time should remain mild and mostly consist of light walking. The length of each walk may be increased to prepare the body for more activity as the body heals.

Three to Four Weeks after Surgery

After three to four weeks, many patients feel mostly recovered and may feel ready to increase their activity level. While some may be recovered enough to resume moderate exercise, it's important to receive physician approval before taking on increased activity. During the third or fourth week of recovery, patients may be ready to increase exercise by introducing light cardio back into their routine. As exercise is reintroduced into a patient's routine, it's important to not overwork areas where surgery was performed in order to prevent interference with recovery.

Four to Six Weeks after Surgery 

Within four to six weeks after most plastic surgery procedures, patients will be fully recovered and given approval from their physician to resume moderate to strenuous exercise, such as weight lifting and aerobics, or their regular exercise routine. With that said, strenuous activity and heavy lifting will need to be avoided until approved by a physician or damage may occur at the plastic surgery site.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information about exercising after plastic surgery, or other questions you may have about plastic surgery, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hurwitz.

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