Is 4 1/2 weeks enough time off work for a RN after hybrid TT and breastlift/aug?

I am scheduled to have a hybrid tummy tuck with a hernia repair, and a breast lift with sub muscle implants in April. I am planning to take 4 1/2 weeks off from work. I am a labor and delivery nurse, so my job is pretty intense. For the first 2 weeks back, my boss has agreed that I can stick to working our Antepartum areas and as the baby nurse. Does this seem like a realistic plan? Thanks in advance for your input.

Doctor Answers 13

Is 4.5 weeks off from work after a mommy makeover enough for a nurse?

Your plan should work as long as you can avoid heavy lifting for the first 1.5 weeks back at work.  So for those 2 weeks you shouldn't pick up any of the diabetic mom babies that weight more than 10lbs... Your plan is very realistic.  I have had nurses return to work 2 weeks after a mommy makeover and had others help with lifting when necessary. I know not all nursing asssignments are the same and it sounds like a great idea not to return to L&D until after you are 6 weeks post op.  Best of luck.

Is 4 1/2 weeks enough time off work for a RN after hybrid TT and breastlift/aug?

Recovery after “mommy makeover” surgery will differ from one patient to another. Given your “intense” occupation, I think that the amount of time your schedule off would be the minimum amount of time I would suggest that you take off. I would suggest that you be prepared to go back to work on a more part-time basis and/or schedule additional time off, depending on how you are feeling for 4.5 weeks after surgery. Since you considering undergoing a major operation which often involves a significant physical and emotional recovery ( often underestimated by surgeons and patients alike), a few words of advice may be helpful:
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, and the attached link, helps.

Recovery from a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.   

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain.
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Avoid heavy lifting

I'm glad to hear that you've taken such a long time off from work. This will help your recovery immensely. However, because your job involves lifting, you might need 2 more weeks or so avoiding lifting anything heavy. 

If your recovery is slow, you may need a few more weeks to recover. At any rate, please talk to your surgeon to find out what their recovery guidelines are because they may be different.

Working after Mommy makeover

Your plan seems reasonable if you can avoid heavy lifting after your return to work.  Communicate openly with your supervisor to be sure that the expectations upon return to work are realistic and always follow the advice of your plastic surgeon.

Best of luck,

For half weeks is general enough time for convalescence after mommy makeover for a nurse.

As a nurse you know that not everyone heals the same way. Nevertheless I think four and half weeks should be more than enough time for you to recover from the operation so you can complete your responsibilities as a nurse.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Recovery for Hybrid Tummy Tuck w/ Hernia Repair, and Breast Lift

Thank you for your question. Your plan to return to work on light duty for two weeks after after taking four and a half weeks off is realistic, barring any complications of course. Ideally you should not lift anything over 10 pounds for six weeks after surgery. After six weeks, you should be able to resume all normal activity.  Best of luck to you.

Mark Deutsch, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


Thank you for the question.

The recovery process for the procedures can take between 4-8 weeks, you can return to work on light duty but performing your normal working activities might bring complications to your recovery.

Dr. Campos

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

Recovery after breast augmentation tummy tuck

I think your recovery plan is realistic. If you're going to take 4 1/2 weeks off and then have two weeks of low intensity work that should be fine. Good luck.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, M.D., DDS, FACS

Time off after mommy makeover

Provided you have an uncomplicated recovery, you have scheduled more than enough time.  I typically tell patients tgey can return to kight duty jobs at 10 days post-operatively.

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.