Exercise & Abdominal surgery


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Your surgeon would have had to cut through the tummy muscles and fibrous bands in the abdominal wall. This leads to inherent weakness which not only creates a lax less toned tummy it increases the risk of hernia either through the scar or elsewhere. Exercise advice in the days and week or two after the operation is best sort form the individual surgical team and may change with local policies an techniques, after that period the following may be helpful:-  

The aim of exercise after abdominal surgery is to tone up the muscles and prevent hernia. It would be therefore counter productive to increase the pressure inside the abdomen during exercise as this is will encourage herniation of tissues through the scar. The two most important rules when performing abdominal exercises are do not strain and breathe correctly. These will be explained as we go alone but they essentially mean no red faced squeezing holding your breath!  

Exercises for your abdomen:

Pelvic tilting:  Lie on your back, on a soft but level surface (exercise mat, towel on a carpet). Relax with your knees bent. Take a breath in then push your lower back against the floor, tightening your tummy muscles at the same time. Each time you tighten your muscles breathe out slowly for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times. To help prevent backache tighten tummy muscles and pull them in, press down into the bed with your back. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.


Knee Rolling: Hands by sides - draw in tummy muscles and roll knees over to one side. Slowly bring them up again and roll them the other way.


Bottom lift: Draw in tummy muscles. Lift bottom up off bed - lower slowly and relax.           

Head lift: After 10-14 days provided, your recovery is going well - try some gentle sit ups. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, hold for 2-3 seconds then repeat 10-20 times three times a day. Try to keep your elbows back with your hand behind your head looking forward. Keep your lower back flat against the ground. Most important: keep your mouth open and breathe out slightly every time you lift up. This way you don't increase the pressure inside your abdomen whilst at the same time increasing the strength in your abdominal muscles. Repeat the sit ups with your legs twisted to the right then the left.          

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