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Exercise After Plastic Surgery: A Timeline for Recovering Patients

By The Landings Surgical Centre on January 24, 2017


An athletic woman smilingAfter you undergo a major plastic surgery procedure, such as a body contouring and sculpting surgery, it can take some time to recover. In addition to taking time off from your job, you may be asked to avoid exercising. This may seem difficult for people used to active lifestyles, but it's for the best.

The team at our Halifax plastic surgery practice would like to consider why exercise after surgery has to be carefully considered. We will also offer a timeline for light exercise that can help with the healing process.

Rest Is Your Priority After Plastic Surgery

After you undergo any sort of surgical procedure, your first priority has to be getting rest. Resting after surgery gives your body a chance to fully recovery, and it ensures that you conserve all energy for the healing process. The most pronounced discomfort, bruising, and swelling tends to occur during the first days after your surgery. This is why it's important that patients take time off from work after their procedure is completed.

Similarly, it's important that patients avoid strenuous physical activities after surgery, which include their normal exercise routines.

Why Exercising Too Early Could Be Dangerous

Exercising right after surgery can lead to a number of serious issues as you are recovering. First of all, the stress exerted on the body from heavy lifting and major cardiovascular activity can lead to serious problems with the incision sites. Sutures may come loose, and the incisions themselves may reopen. This increases the risk of infection as well as major scarring and other complications.

In addition, exerting too much energy too early may lead to a much longer recovery time since you did not commit yourself to rest. The final results of surgery may be impacted as well, leading to serious aesthetic flaws.

Light Walking After Your Surgery

While normal exercise routines should be avoided for at least a month after most surgeries, patients are encouraged to walk lightly each day. Walking will promote blood circulation, and in the process prevent complications related to blood clots from forming in the legs. This can be crucial in those first weeks after surgery.

A Week-by-Week Walking Timeline

Below is a general timeline for walking as a patient recovers from a plastic surgery procedure.

  • 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 these numbers can vary, but it should give you a good idea of what to expect with regard to your activity level.

Slowly Returning to Your Normal Exercise Routine

By the fifth week after surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely suggest light workouts taken slowly to see how they feel. Don't push yourself too hard even though you may be excited to exercise again. In the sixth week after surgery, add a little more intensity within your comfort level. Again, take things slow, and be sure to follow your surgeon's advice particularly when it comes to heavy lifting, yoga and stretching, and major cardio workouts.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Recovery

For more information about recovering from plastic surgery and how we can help you heal properly and free from complications, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. Our team here looks forward to your visit and discussing these issues in greater detail.

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"Our doctors and staff are cheerful, friendly, calm, courteous, and efficient. They have an excellent rapport with each other and work very much as a team."

JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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