What is the Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

What is the Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 12

Recovery after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

You should plan on at least 2 to 4 weeks of “recovery time” after tummy tuck surgery. I remind patients that any type of tummy tuck operation involves significant physical and “emotional” recovery and offer the following words of advice:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

What is the Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Hello! Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Given your desires, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. I would highly recommend continued diet and exercise prior to any consideration for body contouring as getting down to your ideal weight prior to the procedure will certainly give you the best results. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle will be needed in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

You should consult with a plastic surgeon at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. I typically recommend a 6 week period of no strenuous activity/vigorous exercise along with an abdominal binder for the same time period. It usually takes 6-12 weeks for full healing and swelling to subside before results final. Probably 3-4 weeks for a mini TT.  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Allow At Least 10-14 Days To Recover From Mini Tummy Tuck

In the performance of a mini tummy tuck, an incision is made in the lower abdomen.Depending on the patient, this incision can be the same length as a full tummy tuck or shorter.After the incision is made, the skin and fat layer is elevated off of the underlying muscle layer up to the level of the bellybutton.The excess skin and fat are then pulled snugly downward and the excess skin and fat are removed.This leaves a significant raw surface between the bellybutton and the pubic bone.It is very important that the fat layer and the muscle layer heal together and close this space.Until that happens, there will be fluid accumulation in this area.Excess activity during the initial healing period can prolong the production and accumulation of fluid in this layer.For that reason, it is important to significantly restrict your activities during this period of time.If there are no interruptions in the healing process, this area should be healed within 10 to 14 days.The full recovery time however, is longer.Strenuous activity should be restricted for a period of six to eight weeks.In summary, you can normally get back to most normal day to day activities, such as driving your car, within 10 to 14 days.Strenuous activity should be delayed for six to eight weeks.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Recovery time after Mini Tummy Tuck

Activities such as exercise, lifting greater than 15 pounds, stretching, and standing for long periods of time are restricted for this procedure for at least 4 weeks. If you have a job that includes these activities, discuss your restrictions with your Surgeon prior to your procedure. 

Pamela Gallagher, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck

Patients can return to work in 1 - 2 weeks, and ramp up the level of actitivity over the next six weeks.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

What is the Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini Tummy Tuck can mean different things, so that's a question for your surgeon since he is the one who knows what is being done. Usually it involves removing only a small roll of skin and fat from near the pubic hair line. It does not involve muscle repair, because to repair only the lower muscles will cause bulging of the upper abdomen. It does not involve any umbilical surgery and minimal dissection so the recovery is pretty quick. You shoulod be back to all normal daily activities in 7-10 days and excercising in 3-4 weeks. Make sure you know what you are asking for. Most plastic surgeons don't do many mini TTs because you get mini results and mini changes.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy

The recovery time for a mini tummy tuck is about the same time for a regular abdominoplasty. Recovery, however, is different from being healed. With a rapid recovery protocol, you should be recovered to the point that you can do most things that you need to do on a daily basis. In other words, at 24 hours you should be able things like drive, go out shopping, go out for a long walk, go out to dinner and do light housekeeping chores (throw in a load of laundry).

This protocol also uses the NO Drain tummy tuck technique that is really great because you do not have that encumbrance which just about everyone who has a tummy tuck will tell you, that was the worst part.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Recovery Time

Usually by two weeks the patient can return back to work. Strenous activity and lifting more than 10lbs has to be avoided for 6 weeks following surgery.

What is the Average Recovery Time for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck usually includes removal of some lower abdominal skin (below the belly button which remains in place), some fat and is done through a ~6-8 inch incision. It does not require drains after surgery and recovery is usually 1-2 weeks. Occasionally this can be done under local anesthesia, but most often it is done under sedation with local anesthesia or general anesthesia.

For comparison, a full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) involves removing considerable excess skin (usually well above the belly button), fat, tightening of the abdominal muscles and is performed through an incision from hip to hip. Most often it requires drains, although there are opportunities to avoid these. The recovery is usually 2-4 weeks and heavy lifting is avoided for 6 weeks. General anesthesia is required.

Both procedures are performed as outpatient surgery.

Good luck and enjoy your result

Bram Kaufman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


In most cases, you can return to work after 2 weeks post tummy tuck. Although recovery and pain varies from patient to patient, in most cases, one can return to a light office job after the second week from surgery. I would consult with your surgeon prior to your return back to work.

Dr. Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.