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Do u have to stay in bed after a tummy tuck? Is it really that painful?

im 18, i weigh 127 and i am getting a tummy tuck in about 2 weeks but am having second thoughts. my son 3 months,will i still be able to take care of him properly? im also a CNA whats the earliest i could start back work.will i really be in that much pain?

Doctor Answers (10)

Do u have to stay in bed after a tummy tuck? Is it really that painful?

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First off, of course I would need to examine you, but as a general rule, in my practice I would consider you too young for a tummy tuck. You may want to have more children and becoming pregnant after a tummy tuck can be risky. I know, you probably will say you definitely are done with your child-baring. But I am here to tell you, after 25 years of dealing with patients like yourself, that somewhere along the way you will change your mind. Secondly, there are tremendous variations in pain tolerance. Generally, I do not want my patients to stay in bed at all after a tummy tuck because that is what increases your risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia. I instruct my patients to get out of bed at least every hour while they are awake, starting the day after surgery, and walk around for a few minutes, gradually increasing the walking and physical activity time. It is for this reason that we began performing tummy tucks as outpatient over 20 years ago, because this somewhat forces the patients to move.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bed rest

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I ask patients to get out of bed at least every hour for a brief walk. You should be confined to bed for as short of a time as possible. You will need help with your son for about a week.

Christopher J. Davidson, MD, FACS
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

No bed rest after tummy tuck

+1

Thank you for your question. In my practice I encouraged patients to be up, out of bed, carefully walking around the house, going to the dinner table, going to the bathroom and generally carrying out normal daily activities of living but being very slow and cautious. Of course you will have to be very careful and the first few days should have someone with you so that you do not fall or injure herself.

The risk of staying in bed and not moving around is that blood will pull in your legs and you risk the development of blood clots.

There is discomfort the first 3 or 4 days, especially if you try to stand up straight. Walking bent over helps minimize pain. You will be given narcotic pain medicine which is another reason someone needs to be with you.

You will need help with child care for small children for the first 2 or 3 days. Usually a family member, spouse or friend can stay with you and help you with this.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Important aftercare after a tummy tuck

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Hello!!! If you are considering a tummy tuck, you have to understand that you cannot do any strenuous activities or carry anything heavy for at least 6 weeks. Since you have a 3 month old son, it is better to weight until he is older because you will not be able to carry him for 6 weeks. Also if you have a strenuous job you will also need to wait at least 6 weeks.

The pain level after a tummy tuck really depends on your tolerance to pain and if you are resting enough. You must consider the healing time.

Alfonso Gonzalez Cepeda, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Age 18 is too young for a tummy tuck

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You should not be undergoing a tummy tuck at age 18. Tummy tucks should only be performed after child bearing is finished. When you become pregnant the results of the tummy tuck will be lost and you will be faced with the same problem again. Also, your time and effort should be focused on raising your 3 month old child, not recovering from a major surgery.

Take a deep breath, cancel your surgery, take care of your child and save your money. You have your whole life in front of you, that tummy tuck can wait!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy tuck timing

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My advice would be to delay your tummy tuck until after your child is a little older and less dependent as you should avoid heavy lifting after the surgery for around 6 weeks. A tummy tuck is also best delayed until after you have completed your family, in the event that you were planning to have any further children.

As to your other questions, you should be out of bed from the first day after your surgery so as to avoid post-operative complications such as blood clots and pneumonia.

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is moderately painful but most patients manage well with oral pain relief. I am happy for patients to return to work 2 weeks after surgery, so long as their job does not entail heavy lifting. If it does, then return to full duties should be delayed for 6 weeks.

I hope this helps. Best of luck with your decision making.

James Southwell-Keely, MD
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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A tummy tuck procedure is major surgery, and your body needs proper time to heal. You should get up and walk around after your surgery. Sleeping in a recliner is helpful, and I definitely recommend that you do not stay in bed all day. The sooner you begin walking around, the better. Most patients like to stay home at least a week to get enough rest. You will feel very sore even with a pain pump if you have any type of stomach muscle repair. You should not lift anything (or anyone) over 10 pounds so I would advise you to have someone help you care for your infant during at least the first week. Often patients complain about back pain since you will be "hunched" over until you can stand straight; carrying a 3 month old would cause more back pain in this position and it is not recommended. Most of my patients choose to go back to work after 2 weeks if they are able to sit. If you have a job during which requires you to spend most of the time on your feet, then you may want to go back to work only part-time after 2 weeks. Most patients feel that they are feeling more normal after 4-6 weeks.

Mark E. Mason, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Exparel for pain control and faster recovery with tummy tuck

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Plastic surgeons definitely want their tummy tuck patients to be up and walking around more than strictly bed rest, and pain control is a big part of that. Ask about Exparel, a numbing agent that lasts for about 3 days. It has helped my patients to be more active and recover faster. As for lifting and more vigorous activity, a lot depends on whether a muscle repair is necessary.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How quick is my recovery and how much does a tummy tuck hurt.

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Congratulations on your son! To answer your question - most pain is well controlled with today's pain medications. If concerned, a pain pump can be used, but with newer pain medications I haven't used one in several years. You will find that a good week will need to pass before you are beginning to feel more comfortable. Most people go back to work after 2 weeks, but that week is a little rough. After 3 weeks most people want to do more than they should. You need to let your muscles heal for 6 weeks minimum before straining them. On a separate note however, being 18 and having a three month old gives me pause about whether you should even have a tummy tuck. My honest recommendation would be to wait at least six months to see if your body rebounds. You haven't given your body a chance waiting only 3 months. I personally would have told you to wait.

Brian Dorner, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

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Tummy tuck surgery is often less painful and easier to recover from than people think. Most patients only need narcotic pain medication for 4-5 days. After that, they are sore for another week or so. You should be up and walking around the day of surgery and should be able to do small things around the house the next day. But it is difficult to sit up out of bed, comfortably climb stairs, and do activities that use the core muscles. You need to take things easy and avoid heavy lifting and stressing the suture line. You should have someone help you around the house for the first few days. You might need 2 weeks off from work if you have a light duty type of job. If you needed to do heavy lifting, you might need to be out for 6 weeks.

You can have surgery 3 months after your delivery, but I would usually suggest waiting a bit longer until your skin has fully retracted and recovered from your pregnancy.

William T. Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.