Exercise After Plastic Surgery


For many, the purpose of a cosmetic surgery procedure is to enhance an already fit figure. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, you may have gotten within inches of your goal, and simply need an extra bit of refinement.

At South Shore Plastic Surgery, we understand that exercise is important to you, and that you may be curious about how long you have to wait after surgery before resuming your fitness routine. Dr. Vasisht takes special care to be conscious of the needs of each individual patient prior to surgery – to ensure a much more personalized approach, allowing him to help you resume the activities that are important to you in your busy life. Dr. Vasisht recognizes this, and does his best to make decisions that can fit those parameters, while also allowing the body to heal properly and completely.

Breast Augmentation

With breast implants, any sort of upper body workout engages the pectoral muscles, impacting the implant. During surgery, implants are inserted into a pocket created in your chest. Your body doesn’t recognize the intruder and wants to protect itself, so it immediately begins forming scar tissue in the lining of the pocket holding the implant. This is a completely natural process, and the goal is to allow this scar tissue (or capsule) to form without interference so that your body can complete the healing process.

In some cases, the scar tissue can form improperly, putting pressure on the implants, and making them feel hard or affecting the shape. This is known as capsular contracture. Capsular contracture can be painful, it can ruin the look and feel of your breasts, and the only way to correct it is through revision surgery.

This means that you need to be gentle with your body and allow it to totally heal before jumping back into an exercise regimen. At a minimum, you want to give your upper body at least four to six weeks to heal before lifting weights or anything that would cause you to overuse your pectoral muscles. Some tips for exercise include:

  • For the first month after surgery, do not lift anything over about five pounds, and don’t push or pull anything heavy.
  • During the initial two weeks after your surgery, light walking is encouraged. It will get your blood moving and help prevent post-surgery complications such as blood clots or cramping.
  • Around week three, you can resume lower body exercises, but again, nothing that utilizes or stretches the pectoral muscles. Walking or riding a stationary bike is also allowed.
  • Between weeks four and six, you may be able to start back with some light upper body weights, depending on Dr. Vasisht’s assessment of your healing progress.
  • Usually after about eight weeks, you should be able to return to a normal exercise regimen. However, it is important to take into account that your muscles are not at full strength, and that you shouldn’t overdo it.


No matter where you get liposuction, the post-surgery limitations are essentially the same, although if necessary, Dr. Vasisht will give you instructions that are specific to your needs. After your liposuction procedure, you will experience some swelling, bruising, and mild pain, but those will fade with time. For the first two weeks, you need to rest and let your body heal, limiting your activity to walking. This is a gentle, low impact exercise that can boost circulation for faster healing, as well as help prevent blood clots from forming.

Depending on the amount of liposuction you had done, and how many areas of the body were treated, you can usually move up to walking for a longer period of time, and by about a month after your surgery, you can resume running and weight lifting. Again, this will depend on whether Dr. Vasisht gives you the go-ahead according to how well the healing process is progressing. If you overdo it, the swelling in the treated areas will take longer to diminish.

Tummy Tuck

Most people don’t realize that a tummy tuck is considered major surgery, because it involves repairing your core musculature. Most movement, including automatic things like sitting up or standing, activate your core, so you have to be very mindful of what you do while you heal from a tummy tuck.

Because most, if not all, exercising requires using your core, you have to wait until you are completely healed before resuming your regular workouts. While it’s ok to walk around a bit to prevent blood clots and promote circulation, you shouldn’t do any cardio for at least a month, and even then, it must be very light. As you begin to feel stronger, you can increase the intensity slowly, but it will be close to three months before you can perform any exercises that require a lot of ab strength. Dr. Vasisht will closely monitor your progress, and help you choose the best exercises for the stage of healing that you are in.

No matter what type of cosmetic surgery you choose, recovery is as important as the surgery itself. Above all, it is vital that you follow the specific post-surgery instructions from Dr. Vasisht, as he is familiar with your body and will be monitoring your healing process to ensure the safest, most beautiful result. Call South Shore Plastic Surgery today at 856-322-8100 to schedule a consultation.