Recovery time for Tummy Tuck vs recovery time for lipo of 12 areas?

I can only takes 2 weeks off from work is that enough to time for a TT or should I go for the lipo. I really want the TT, but I'll settle for the body lipo if recovery time is much quicker. I know it sounds crazy, like let's make a deal!!!

Doctor Answers 10

Abdominoplasty, tummy tuck, liposuction, recovery, back to work.

Dear Ms. 40 Brandnew, 

Thank you for your question.  Select  the procedure you need to reach your goals not on recovery time or time off work. You will always make time to it right...... Every one responds a little different and requires a varied recuperation period.  Most  patients after TT are back to work in 2 weeks and liposuction 3-4 days.
Here are my pre and post op instructions for TT:
Most patients are nearly self sufficient after the 5 th postoperative day.
You may need help with transportion needs for follow up visits and if taking narcotics.
The following are my personal instructions. Specifics, additions or deletions may vary depending on your surgeons preferences.
I will break it down into three peri operative time periods:
I. Preoperative
a. Month before
1) start iron pill 325 mgm (over the counter) a day (builds up blood). May turn stools
black and cause constipation.
2) start multivitamin (provides nutrients for healing) no mega E can cause bleeding.
3) stop any hormonal birth control or post menapausal female hormones (increase risk of blood clots).
4) stop any over the counter supplements (can cause unknown problems).
5) if you have had Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) start on 100 grams of protein
per day.
6)stop smoking. No exceptions.
7)if over age 45 or medical issues our surgery center recommends a preoperative
clearance by your primary care phyiscian with basic labatory data.
b. Two weeks before
1) if over age 45 or medical issues provide preoperative clearance letter with labatory
data for your surgeon.
2) visit with your Plastic Surgeon who will provide prescriptions (for before and after
surgery), counseling and educational materials. Discuss what medications are ok to
continue or stop. Bring list of questions.
3) stop shaving around pubic area (razor blade shaving causes small cuts that can
harbor bacteria and increase infection rate).
4) NO aspirin, Alleve, Motrin (can interfere with normal clotting) use only plain
Tylenol (will not interfere with normal clotting) or pain medication prescribed by your
Plastic Surgeon.
5) make arrangements for drop off, pickup and child care.
c. 4 days before
1)start bromelian and arnica as directed (anti brusing and swelling).
2) purchase 2 large bags of frozen peas or corn (Costco size). Can have one in pillow case and place over abdomen and change out with second one (in freezer) when thawed.
3)purchase any needed food, supplies and verify with your postoperative support team
yours/their schedule.
4) no shaving of pubic area (can increase infection rate) Operating Staff will clip pubic hair if needed.
c. Day before
1)have precscriptions filled.
2)bed, recliner, pillows, foam wedges etc ready.
3)make sure you location of surgicenter, see if you can obtain any of Surgicenters
required preoperative paperwork to fill out prior to arriving on the day of surgery.
4)call surgicenter for you expected time of arrival
5) have or purchase bell to ring (if you need assistance after surgery) to notify your support team
d. Night before
1)make out a list of any "last minute" questions, your needs, wants, desires and
expectations of the surgery.
2)I have my patients complete a preoperative ennema (decreases fecal load)
for postoperative constipation (from pain meds) and potentially reduces risk of
blood clots (hard stool pressing on intra abdominal viens during tightening of the
3)take a shower with antiseptic solution and scrub entire body well.
4) no alcohol containing drinks.
5) nothing by mouth after midnight or 8 hours prior to surgery (unless instructed so
by surgicenter).
II Operative day
1)awake and take second shower and scrub the surgical area
2)check your list (bring model photos demonstrating your desires).
3)place anti nausea patch behind ear (prevents nausea).
4)take all necessary medications with sips of water.
5)if anxiety may take 5 mgm of Valium with a sip of water.
6)remove all piercings, jewelry, "booby pins" from hair and body.
7) no make up and remove nail polish (intraoperative monitoring).
8) button down or zipper blouse/shirt, sweat pants or stretchable pants.
9)go over your list with Plastic Surgeon and Anesthesia provider.
10) reaffirm with surgicenter when your postoperative care provider should be at
the surgicenter for postoperative education and instructions.
11) ask to have deep vien precautions (DVT). I personally give 5,000 units heparin,
TED hose, and sequential compression device (before, during and after surgery).
III Postoperative
a) immediate
1) communicate with your recovery room nurse (pain, nausea, etc).
2) do what you are asked to do.
3) I provide a abdominal binder (check with your surgeon for their preference).
b) discharge
1) anti DVT program: leg/foot exercises, TED hose, and (I send home with)
portable SCD device to be used for two weeks after surgery. Get out of bed and
walk around house every 1-2 hours while not sleeping. Leave SCD on while
sleeping or resting for next two weeks.
2)incentive spirometer every hour after surgery (improves breathing after general
3) if drains used measuring cup and chart for recording out put as directed.
4)Foley catheter: I personally send home with and have patient remove 6 hours
after surgery (some patients develop urinary retention while general anesthesia
wears off and will require re-cathederazation.
5) walking in haunched over position. I provide a walker for my patients.
6) bed position "lazy boy" postion (use recliner, hospital bed or pillows/foam
7)diet progressive to prevent nausea: clear liquids (gatoraide, broth, tea) for first
8 hours, liquid diet next 8 hours (soups,pudding,yogurt), soft diet for next 8
hours (well cooked oatmeal or pasta) after 24 hours regular diet.
Start stool softeners and anti constipation program.
8)Pain management: I personally inject long acting local pain reducers into the
surgical area and provide a postoperative non narcotic pain reliever that lasts
several days. It is ok to start using aspirin, Alleve, Motrin after surgery and
alternate with oral narcotics. Do not take pain medications on a empty stomach.
Crackers before and after medications (to prevent nausea and upset stomach).
9)incentive spirometer: helps open up the small breathing units found within the
lungs that collapse during general anesthesia . Use once an hour while awake
until you are abel to obtain preoperative values.
b) first four post operative days.
1) wear SCD's 24 hours a day, anti DVT excercises every hour
2) use incentive spirometer (it opens up small breathing units in your lungs) once a hour until you reach your preoperative values
3) walk hunched over (use walker provided) and sleep in the "fetal position" using recliner or wedges/pillows.
4)if unable to have a bowel movement start over the counter laxatives and stool softeners.
c)5 th day to two weeks
1)no restrictions in sleeping postion or standing up straight. Use walker only as needed.
2)non narcotic pain pump to be be removed
3)may shower but keep incision and drain exit sites dry (let shower spray back side and sponge bath front side.
4)may remove SCD during ambulation but wear at all times when not
5)progressive ambulation and stretching to point of pain and fatigue
6) wean off narcotic pain pills and replace with Tylenol, Motrin or Aspirin like over the counter medications.
7)may drive as tolerated (must be off narcotics)
8) may switch from provided binder to "spanks" like garmet for comfort and support.
9) may return to work as tolerated
d)after two weeks
1) excercise to point of pain or fatique
2)SCD not required (may continue)
3) report to office when individual drainage less than 25 cc in a 24 hour peroid for serial
removal). May shower without restrictions when drains are all removed.
4) start anti scar programs: start Embrace and silicone gel strips.
e) after six weeks
1) no restriction on excercise (use good judgement).
2)cont to wear "spanks" like garmet for support and swelling (only as needed).
3) it will take 2-3 months for the majority of the swelling to be gone.
4) it will take 9 + months for the scars to "mature" (soften and lighten)
5) enjoy your new body.

I trust you have chosen a experienced Plastic Surgeon who is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,

Dr. R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Thank you for your question. You will notice swelling, which is to be expected. Although bruising is uncommon even if concomitant lipoplasty is performed, it occasionally occurs. The bruising and much of the swelling will disappear over a period of weeks. However, it may be months before all swelling subsides and you see the final result of your abdominoplasty. You may also notice some numbness over portions of the abdominal area, and this may persist for several months. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery and may even appear to worsen before they finally begin to fade. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after a few weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling during this time, but such feelings are normal. Best of luck! 
Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates 

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Comparing Apples to Oranges

When considering liposuction vs tummy tuck, you have to realize that you are comparing apples to oranges here, as these procedures’ results are very different. If you have a protuberant abdomen with weak abdominal tone and want this flattened and tightened then a tummy tuck would be the procedure of choice as she will not achieve this with liposuction alone. If the tummy tuck is what you really want, settling for anything less will likely make you unhappy in the end. If your primary concern is your abdomen, you may want to concentrate on that area. With the tummy tuck, excess sagging skin and subcutaneous fat from your abdomen will be removed. The abdominal muscles will be tightened tightened, resulting in a flatter, firmer midsection. You will need to take it easy for the first two weeks post operatively, but returning to a desk job after that should not be an issue. Depending on the technique you’re plastic surgeon performed she may or may not have drain tubes. Depending on the amount of drainage these may be removed by 2 weeks. Liposuction from 12 areas at one time is rather ambitious, and perhaps unrealistic depending upon the amount of fat you are hoping to lose during the procedure. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends a maximum removal of 5 liters of fat during an outpatient or same day surgery. This limitation is in place for safety reasons. Having an elective surgical procedure is a major decision; not one to be based solely on recovery time.

Benjamin Schlechter, MD, FACS
Reading Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Recovery time for tummy tuck and lipo

2 weeks is often sufficient to return to work after a tummy tuck if there is no strenuous activities involved and your boss is understanding to your needs (i.e. needing to leave early occasionally and reducing hours).  However, 2 weeks does not account for unforeseen issues where you would need additional recovery time.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Surgical options

Hi, there.
Please choose the procedure that would give you the best outcome.
Tummy tuck and liposuction are very different procedures; they will not give you the same cosmetic result. 
Depending on your pain threshold and work type, you may need to take off 2 weeks for tummy tuck or 1 week of liposuction.
Please talk with your plastic surgeon to share your goal and to learn about tummy tuck and liposuction.
Best regards.

Don't pick you surgery based solely on recovery time

Thank you for your question.  I strongly advise you to not pick your surgery based on recovery time; otherwise, you may pick the wrong surgery and not get the result you are looking for. In general, it is not a choice of liposuction vs tummy tuck.  If you have excess skin and loose abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck is generally best. If you have good skin and muscles but some excess fat, liposuction would likely be your best procedure. Liposuction has a considerably shorter recovery period, however, most of my tummy tuck patients are back to work in less than two weeks as long as they are not performing strenuous activity. Be sure to see an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Lipo vs tummy tuck?

Hello 40BrandNew. Liposuction recovery will be faster than recovery for tummy tuck. However, my patients return to work after tummy tuck in 2 weeks unless they have a physically demanding job and then we wait to 21 days. 

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 184 reviews

Recovery time for Tummy Tuck vs recovery time for lipo of 12 areas?

Thank you for your question.  In general, a tummy tuck would require as much recovery as that many areas of liposuction.  I typically recommend avoiding strenuous activity/exercise for 4-6 weeks after liposuction and avoiding strenuous activity/exercise as well as lifting no more than 10-15 lbs for 6 weeks after a tummy tuck.  Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Recovery time for TT

Generally  my patients go back to work in two weeks, wearing the compression garment.  This assumes, however that healing is progressing normally.  To be sure, please check with your surgeon or nurse, and I am sure they will tell you the plan they llike for their patients

Paul Silverstein, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck recovery

My patients do not generally take more than two weeks off of work after standard abdominoplasty. If you do not have any complications, this should be adequate for you. If this operation is going to give you the results that you want, then I would not compromise for the sake of time off of work. I would recommend waiting until you have more availability if this is going to be the correct operation for you. Otherwise I think you will be disappointed in the end.

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.