Ask a doctor

What is the Recovery Time with a Tummy Tuck and a Repair for an Incisional Hernia?

i am a 56 year old woman, good health

Doctor Answers (6)

What is the Recovery Time with a Tummy Tuck and a Repair for an Incisional Hernia?


Much depends on what you mean by recovery time.

Many patients whose employment is not physically exertional are back to work in 10 days or so. Those who do heavy physical work may be out for 6 weeks if their employer has no "light duty." 

As to being able to function at home without help, usually a couple of days, unless there are children to care for.

For results, 3 months or so for most swelling to resolve, a year for the scars to mature.

 When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Recovery Time for a Tummy Tuck is Very Dependent on the Individual Patient


Recovery time is very dependent on the individual patient (and in your case the type of incisional hernia repair). 

In addition, different aspects of the recovery take different amounts of time.  I tell my patients that they will be pretty sore for the first 10-14 days following the surgery and will likely not return to work until after that time. 

During that time period most patients with walk with a hunched over posture due to the tension on the abdominal wall following the hernia repair/tightening of the abdominal wall. 

After the first 10-14 days the pain usually improves rapidly, but there are often pain setbacks when patients have increased pain on or after days where they do too much. 

I restrict my patients from lifting anything heavier than a jug of milk for the first 6 weeks following surgery (this is especially important with incisional hernia repair). 

For the first 2-4 weeks I advise my patients that if an activity hurts they should not be doing it.  For weeks 4-6 I advise them if it hurts to do it slowly.  After 6 weeks I give most of my patients clearance to slowly ramp up to full activity. 

I encourage my patients to wear their post-operative compression garment for the full 6 weeks after surgery.  Post-operative swelling will usually resolve between 6 weeks and 3 months.  Sensation to the abdominal skin may take greater than 3 months to return to normal.  Scars will not mature until 1 year after surgery.

David P. Stapenhorst, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Recovery Generally Quick...


Patient's experiences vary but physically fit, motivated people will push themselves and tend to recover faster.  The first few days can be challenging but most patients are ambulating well and off of pain medication in less than one week.  Most patients return to work within 10 to 14 days.  Exercise and other strenuous activities can be initiated two to three weeks after surgery and gradually six weeks after surgery, most patients can do everything they did before the surgery.

P.S.  Repair of an  incisional hernia at the time of your tummy tuck should not affect the course of your recovery...good luck.

Eric Sadeh, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

You might also like...

Tummy Tuck w/ Hernia Repair Recovery Time


Abdominoplasty w/ Ab Hernia Repair, will take the same recovery time as a regular Tummy Tuck. And it is different in each patient but, average time 2-3 weeks, to returns to light physical activities.

Good Luck ,  Dr. Vega - Tijuana

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Recovery from tummy tuck with hernia repair


I divide recovery into stages.  In the first stage, which is about two weeks, you will not be able to work and will be on restrictions, initially walking bent over until, gradually, you can become erect.  Then, recovery progresses into the second stage, during which you will be able to slowly resume physical activities, including lifting.  It takes about six months for the result to be appreciated and then scar healing continues for an entire year.  This is why active followup with your plastic surgeon is so important as you go through the healing process.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy Tuck recovery


Of course every person is different, but in general most patients are back to normal activity at 4 weeks and vigorous activity at 6 weeks.  The first 2 weeks are the roughest, no heavy lifting over 15 lbs for the first week and 30 lbs for the second week.  There are typically drain tubes to care for that remain in place from 1-3 weeks on the average.  If a significant complication develops then the recovery time may be longer.  The recovery is similar to a C-section or hysterectomy.

Good Luck!

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