In October 2022, I had a combination of surgeries which are commonly known as a ‘Mummy Makeover’. This involved an extended tummy tuck with muscle repair, liposuction to the waist and back, and a breast lift with implants. As I’m not a Mum, I don’t usually refer to my surgeries as a Mummy Makeover but for the purpose of this blog, I will!
It’s necessary to avoid strenuous exercise while recovering from surgery of this type. Being someone who is very active, this was a major consideration when planning and preparing for my Mummy Makeover. The advice on returning to exercise is very varied, but I decided to follow my surgeon’s instructions as well as doing what felt right for me.
Here is how I gradually returned to exercise after a Mummy Makeover…
Immediately after surgery
It’s important to start walking as soon as it’s safe after surgery as it stimulates circulation which can help prevent the development of blood clots. I was advised to walk up and down the corridor in the clinic for 5-10 minutes every hour. My movement was quite limited at first- after a tummy tuck, you have to walk in a hunched-over position and take it very slowly.
Up to 6 weeks after surgery
Walking was the only exercise I could do in the initial 6 weeks after surgery. I gradually built up my distance until I was walking 5km every day. I actually really enjoyed getting out for these walks and challenged myself to go a little further and a little faster every day.
I wore my compression garment constantly for 6 weeks after my Mummy Makeover, it did feel incredibly restrictive as I was walking, like a corset being pulled tighter!
I was desperate to do more exercise, but strictly followed my surgeon’s advice not to do too much too soon.
From 6 weeks after surgery
Exactly 6 weeks after my surgery, I attempted my first easy run. I only did 20 minutes at a gentle pace, but it felt great to be running again! My hips, back and tops of thighs were still completely numb and it was a strange sensation to be running with no feeling in these areas. I’d also removed my compression garment so I felt less restricted.
Also, at 6 weeks post-surgery, I returned to the gym and did light workouts. I’d been advised to avoid engaging my chest and core muscles, so I stuck to training arms and shoulders only. Reaching my arms up above my head pulled on my tummy scar and felt a little uncomfortable.
I also did a few easy rides on the turbo trainer, which felt comfortable as there was no pulling on my scar.
From 12 weeks after surgery
I’d been given the go-ahead to increase the intensity and duration of exercise from 12 weeks. I started following a running training plan, which involved speedwork, hills and longer runs. In the gym, I began using heavier weights and doing chest and core workouts. I was cautious with chest exercises for a while incase they affected my implants.
By now, the sensation had almost returned in my legs, hips and back, although still not fully.
From 16 weeks after surgery
By now, I felt completely back to normal. I was training as I was before surgery and even started some new activities- pole dancing and aerial hoop. Due to the muscle repair, I felt as though I could engage my core muscles better.
One of the aims of my surgery was to remove the loose skin on my stomach, which had always felt uncomfortable while running and cycling. I can definitely feel the improvement now that this is no longer bouncing about!
Most importantly, I feel more confident in my body. I would never have trained in just a sports bra in public, but now I’m happy to do so.
My recovery from Mummy Makeover surgery went smoothly, without any issues. I think this is because I was so fit, healthy and active before my operation- I was able to bounce back easily.