What is the Minimum Recovery Time for a Mommy Makeover?

I would like to have a breast lift, a breast augmentation and a tummy tuck w/ liposuction on the sides next year. I work at a desk job and have to request the time off. To give an idea, I was up and cleaning about 5 days after my c-section, although it would still get sore at the end of the day. How soon can I be at my desk job? Is 10 days sufficient? I sit down most of the day and if it helps, I am 24 years old, 5'4" and weighing 116 pounds.

Doctor Answers 90

Give yourself at least 6 weeks for full physical recovery after Mommy Makeover surgery

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After any major surgery such as a Mommy Makeover, you need to give yourself the time needed for complete physical recovery.

In most instances, a Mommy Makover includes a breast lift/implants (or breast reduction), a tummy tuck and/or liposuction (just like you are seeking!).

I counsel my patients to take 6 weeks off aggressive physical activity such as exercise, and to take at least 2-3 weeks off work, longer if they can!

Becoming too active immediately after surgery can increase the risk of complications such as hematoma (bleeding), wound healing problems, increased bruising and pain!

If you need to work from home or at a desk, be sure to get up and move around at least each hour to encourage circulation in your legs and lungs, and be able to delegate any lifitng more than 5 pounds to others in the workplace or your family for the first 4 weeks.

You are planning to invest a great deal of time, effort, energy and money into your surgery - be sure to also invest the appropriate effort in your recovery!

Karen M. Horton, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.S.C.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Time for recovery after Mommy Makeover?

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Because it sounds like you have a fairly high tolerance for pain, I think that you could be back to work around 10-14 days.  No lifting more than 20 lbs. for about 6 weeks.  Good luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Minimum recovery time for mommy makeover

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It sounds like you are fit, lean and healthy, with a positive attitude towards recovery, all of which helps. You've also had the experience of recovering from a C section. You have a strong interest in making your recovery short. The likelihood of you being able to go back to work at ten days is significant, but...

I would suggest you ask yourself if you need to count of getting back to work at the minimum recovery time, because despite the best intentions, things can sometimes not work out as planned. Have a plan B. And discuss your plans with your doctor so you aren't doing things that run counter to his or her recommendations

Benjamin Gelfant, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

Mommy Makeover Time off

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While every patient is different in their pain tolerance levels/recovery times, after a mommy makeover I advise my patients no heavy lifting/no abdominal work/ no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. Most patients who have desk jobs are able to return to work after 10 days so I usually recommend 2 weeks off to be sure. Good Luck!

Minimum recovery time for Mommy Makeover

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The recovery after mommy makeover (tummy tuck and breast lift/augmentation) varies patient to patient.  I have patients who went back to their desk job after 1 week; and I have others who went back after 3 weeks.  Pain threshold is very subjective.  Even with same procedures, some people may take longer to recover.  Even if it is not pain, you may feel very tired if you go back too soon.  I would plan on taking at least 2 weeks off from work.

Desk job after "mommy makeover" is possible in several days.

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Realize that asking for a minimum recovery time is a bit like a surgeon asking him or herself how quickly they can operate and still get an OK result. Usually, taking one's time to do the best job possible is the way to go.

Similarly, recovery to get the best result requires doing enough activity to avoid blood clots, for example, but not so much activity that bleeding requiring re-operation occurs. Everything must be balanced. But you know that, and your question is a practical one that every patient needs an answer to--bosses and co-workers and spouses need to plan accordingly.

Sitting takes tension off the abdomen, but it also wrinkles the still-not-healed-to-its-new-position skin, potentially causing a fluid pocket or permanent "roll" where smoothness is desired. Thus sitting full time may not be good until a week or more (drain out) has passed for these tissues to adhere. Wearing normal clothing to work is a desirable thing; having a drain limits choices somewhat, and I recommend sponge-bathing as long as a drain is in. Showering and wearing normal clothes usually takes a week or so, which is why this is a common answer. But it could be longer, so a conservative adviser might recommend 10 days (or even 2 weeks).

Lifting, reaching, or stretching the arms could induce breast bleeding, which could require re-operation, or maybe just increase the risk of capsular contracture--neither of which is good. So if you're just doing data entry or answering the phone, a few days might be enough. If you have to carry heavy files, longer off might be better.

You are young, healthy, and should do just fine with 7-10 days off work. Have a back-up plan if you need a few days more--this is a significant investment in your lifelong appearance; don't do the least, do the best!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Recovery time after a Mommy Makeover

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The tummy tuck component is what dictates your recovery time. Based on your comment that you were up and cleaning a week after your c-section, I'd say you have good pain tolerance. (I would, however, strongly discourage you from trying to do those kinds of activities soon after surgery. Bleeding is a risk after surgery, and doing strenuous activities that raise your blood pressure increase those risks. After any real operation, you should take it easy for 10 days to 2 weeks for that reason.)

If you do the surgery on a Friday and take the next week off [2 weekends (4 days) + 1 work week (5 days) = 9 days] you may be able to return to a desk job the following week (I'd give you 80% odds based on your experience with the c-section). I don't think you will be very happy at work, and you might still have a drain in place.

On the other hand, if you take 2 full business weeks off [3 weekends (6 days) + 2 work weeks (10 days) = 16 days total] the makeover will be a fairly pleasant memory once you are all done. It is a much better idea to take this course.

Best regards,


Recovery after mommy makeover

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Recovery after mommy makeovers depend a lot on what procedures you had for your mommy makeover.  The procedure that usually adds the most recovery time is the tummy tuck.  In this case, it is not uncommon to take off 10 - 20 days off of work depending on how quickly you recover and the type of work you do.  If work requires a lot of physical activity, then plan on taking more time.  If you are able to take things easy and transition slowly to work, then you can easily shave a week off.  I generally tell my patients to wait until they are off all narcotics before returning to work so they can drive safely to/from work. 

Adding additional procedures such as  breast augmentation and/or lift will add to the overall post-op discomfort, but this is usually better tolerated than the tummy tuck.  If you had liposuction only instead of a tummy tuck, then your recovery may be shorter. 

I would also say that the more you plan for help at home and at work, the easier the recovery and healing process.  Good luck!

Recovery after a

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with the type of mommy makeover you are contemplating, I think in 10-14 days you could return to work as long as there is no lifting more than 20lbs, but I think full activity miggt take up tp 6 weeks. Getting up every hour or so from your desk job is a good idea so there is no creasing of the abdominal skin during the healing process.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Recovery time for a mommy makeover

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Your recovery may be more limited by your level of energy than by pain.  Often patients are finished with pain medication by a week or ten days, but only feel useful at work in stretches of a few hours at a time, then they need to rest.

We generally suggest two weeks but if your procedure is a bit smaller, or you are perhaps a bit tougher than others you can be back quicker.  It works the other way as well though.  Some people need more time based on their individual characteristics or if healing is slowed by a complication.


Byron D. Poindexter, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon

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.