How to Go to the Gym After Laparoscopy

Even though it may be done on an outpatient basis, laparoscopic surgery is still a complex procedure requiring an appropriate amount of recovery time. Although laparoscopy is less invasive than abdominal surgeries requiring a large incision to access the abdominal cavity, you should still take care when returning to presurgery activities, such as going to work or the gym. You may still suffer from the complications of being under general anesthesia, and internal incisions require time to heal.

A young woman standing in a gym. (Image: Chris Clinton/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 1

Move your body as soon as you come out from under anesthesia. Ask for the nurse’s help if you can’t move too far. The more you move, the less risk you have of developing complications from laparoscopic surgery.

Step 2

Walk as soon as you feel up to being on your feet for longer periods. The doctor may advise you to return to work within a day or two after surgery if your job requires only sitting at a desk and minimal walking. You doctor most likely will advise you not to exert yourself or begin exercising for at least two weeks.

Step 3

Return to the gym for light workouts on the gym’s treadmill or elliptical trainer as early as 10 days to two weeks postsurgery. Depending on the location of your laparoscopic scar and the type of laparoscopic surgery, attempting to lift excessive weight over 5 to 10 lbs. or pushing yourself back into your presurgery exercise program too quickly could interfere with the healing process.

Step 4

Increase the intensity of your gym workouts beginning at least 14 days after your laparoscopic surgery. Continue to increase the intensity of your workouts slowly each week for a total of four weeks to return to your presurgery gym workouts of resistance training or running.


Recovery periods vary depending on the type of laparoscopic surgery performed. These instructions provide information on how to return to the gym and begin training after surgery, but they should not take precedence over your surgeon’s specific instructions.

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