What is the Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck. How Long Would I Have to Take off of Work?

Doctor Answers (14)

Time of following tummy tuck

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I tell my patients a minimum of two weeks following a tummy tuck.  This is a big hit and patients really need time to rest and heal.  Also, I warn patients that their energy level will be really low for up to six weeks and to avoid overscheduling either work or social or family obligations during that time. 

Rushing recovery is really not possible and only results in frustration and discomfort and exhaustion.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Time off work for tummy tuck

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It depends largely on what kind of work you do. If you do heavy lifting, you will probably need light duty at first. If you do office type work, figure on 10 to 14 days.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Recovery After Tummy Tuck #tummytuck

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Recovery varies depending on the patient and how much surgery is needed. A mini tummy tuck has a quicker recovery than a full tummy tuck. Usually I tell my patients to expect at least one and maybe 2 weeks off. Then long term they are not able to perform any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting more then 20 pounds for 6 weeks. I have them use abdominal compression for at least 6 weeks as well. Each surgeon has a different set of post operative instructions. Expect to be sore for at least two weeks. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck

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As you can tell from the answers to your question, the recuperation varies from patient to patient and also from surgeon to surgeon. As your surgeon knows you best and what he or she has planned for you, he or she is the best one to ask about how long you would need to recuperate after your surgery. Good luck to you.

What is the Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck?

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Although recovery varies from patient to patient, most will be ready to return to office type work setting in 2-3 weeks.

I recommend that my patients book 3 weeks off, just in case.

Exercise can be started at 4-6 weeks after surgery.

More physical labor requires 4-6 weeks as well.

Hope this helps.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Recovery Time After a Tummy Tuck

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The time to full recovery and resumption of  routine daily activities  are different.  People with a sedentary job of low to moderate stress are usually able to return to work within two weeks.  Those with a very physical job are more likely to need a month out of work. Exercise should be limited to low impact and a low pulse rate the first month.  You should be back to full exercise by six weeks if you have an issue free recovery. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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I encourage my tummy tuck patients to ambulate the same day of surgery.  But you will be walking in the flexed position.  You should be able to walk upright/straight in approximately 7 days.   Most of my tummy tuck patients are comfortable to go back to a desk job 10-14 days after surgery.   If your work involves strenuous activity or heavy lifting, most surgeons recommend avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least 5 weeks.  In general, for most desk jobs, I advise patients to take 10-14 days off if possible so you can focus on your recovery and not on deadlines/clients/meetings.


Best wishes,

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck

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The answer would depend entirely on what your job requirements are. For patients with a desk job, 2 weeks would be an average time off, assuming no complications. You can expect more fatigue than pain at that time. The time off would be longer for more active jobs.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy Tuck recovery is generally about 6 weeks

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After a tummy tuck there are drains which usually are removed within the first 2 weeks.  After that, activity can be progressively increased.  By 6 weeks most people resume normal activities.  I usually want my patients to wear a abdominal binder for at least 6 weeks which helps protect the muscle repair. At times I prefer that patients wear the binder for up to 3 months when exercising. The binder helps protect and keep the tummy flat while it is healing.  The entire internal healing process takes about 6 months, but people usually feel normal after about 4-6 weeks.  The healing varies from person to person but most people heal within these times.  In the link below there is more information about tummy tuck surgery.

Dev Wali, MD
Claremont Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery period

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Thank you for the question.  Recovery after a tummy tuck is a progressive process.  It generally takes about 2-3 weeks for most people to feel comfortable to return to work if their work is largely office type activity.  More physical activity at work may require 3-4 weeks of recovery.  In general, most patients are up and about driving and taking care of themselves around the 2 week mark.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 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.