Advice re: Tummy Tuck & returning to work.

Hi I am an extremely busy hairstylist working 10hrs per day, 5 days a week. How long should I remain off work, and will my clothes actually fit because of swelling? Thank you - J

Doctor Answers 14

Healing After a Mommy Makeover or Tummy Tuck

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.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Work after Tummy Tuck

After a tummy tuck a patient normally need 10 days to return to their desk job.  Since you are a very busy stylist we recommend preparing to take time off for 14 days and returning back to a lighter clientele load.  Depending on the amount of tissue removed, you will have swelling and may have to wear looser clothes for a short period of time. 

M. Mark Mofid, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy Tuck Return to On Feet All Day Work

#Time off Work after Tummy Tuck
Don’t worry, your clothes will most likely fit fine and when the swelling is gone most have to take in their waistline . Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. However, because your job requires you to be on your feet, you may need another week.
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. 3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more – please discuss with your doctor for specific questions.

Returning to work after a tummy tuck

Thank you for the question. I would advise at least three weeks, to give yourself time not only to recover, but to have enough stamina for a ten hour day. You may find that even after three weeks you will still have a tough time finishing such a busy day. Your clothes should fit, even though you will have swelling, but this should be well controlled by your garment. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Dr Derby

In general i advise 14 days before going back to work . When doing more streneous work and standing all day i advise you 3 weeks. Best of luck 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question! After the first two weeks, if you are wearing your compression garment, and you are not on narcotic pain medication then you can go to work. The initial swelling usually resolves within 3 weeks, and you will see a more final result around 3 months.

Please see your surgeon for specific post-op recommendations. If your surgeon is not board certified please seek the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic and restorative body surgery.

Good luck!
Dr Schwartz

Working after a tummy tuck

I usually recommend waiting two weeks before returning to work if possible. You will likely have your drains in for two weeks. I agree with starting slow. 10 hours a day of strenuous work may be difficult to start with.  

Melissa Doft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Advice re: Tummy Tuck & returning to work.

Hi. My usual routine is for the patients to wait 2 weeks before returning to administrative work. This type of work does not require standing for long periods of time. Therefore I would suggest 3 weeks, Good Luck Dr PG

Tummy tuck recovery

I would recommend 2 weeks at a minimum. At 2 weeks your drains will likely be out so you don't want to go straight into a 10 hour day and risk a seroma. Start slow, 4-5 hours, and work your way up. Your clothes will fit fine but take it easy. Let your body recover. Good luck

Out from work?

Hello. You clearly have a hectic occupation that requires a lot of activity. After a tummy tuck you should refrain from your duties for at least 2 weeks. You will feel more comfy then. Be well. 

Dr. Burnett

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.