How Soon Can I Exercise After Plastic Surgery?

June 30 2019

Knowing when it’s safe to exercise after plastic surgery is more critical than some patients may realize. Straining the body too soon after surgery can not only compromise the cosmetic results but also increase the risk of serious complications. At Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists, our team will provide you with detailed, personalized instructions to follow post-operatively, including those regarding exercise.

Below are some general guidelines to follow.

First Two to Three Weeks after Surgery

Getting plenty of bed rest during the first few weeks of recovery is important for proper healing. Vigorous exercise and any physical activities that may elevate your heart rate will be off limits during the first two weeks after surgery.

That being said, it is a good idea to take short walks around your house as soon you feel able to. Doing so promotes good circulation, which is important for the healing process. You can start with three short walks per day. Increase the length and time of those walks as the days go by. Ease off if you feel the walks are too much too soon.

Three to Six Weeks after Surgery

Most patients are cleared by their surgeon to resume light exercise at the three to four week mark. As soon as you have been given the green light by your surgeon, you can resume your normal exercise routine, but at a modified pace. For instance, your surgeon may recommend you exercise at about 25 percent of your normal exertion or speed.

Six to Eight Weeks after Surgery

By the six to eight week mark, most patients have recovered significantly and can resume most exercises at their normal pace or level of difficulty. However, it is extremely important to wait to do so until you have been cleared by your surgeon. We recommend you slowly build your endurance. This means gradually adding more time to your runs or more weight to your strength-training exercises. Always listen to your body: if an exercise is painful, uncomfortable or simply too much to handle, back off.

To learn more about what to expect after plastic surgery, please schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons. Contact us by calling our Northside office at (404) 255-2975 or our Piedmont office at (404) 343-0897.