How long is recovery for a mommy makeover vs just a tummy tuck? (photo)

I am researching mommy makeovers VS a tummy tuck. I would like to get my stomach fixed (post pregnancy stretched skin) but my concerns are 1. Many women say their breasts get pulled down causing droopy or smaller breast looks. 2. I have a 2yr old son, and cannot afford to be out of commission for 5 weeks.

Doctor Answers 23

Mommy Makeover vs. Tummy Tuck Recovery

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Thank you for your question.
Since the tummy tuck is the procedure that contributes the most to a recovery, breast work (either an implant, lift, or both) will not add much to the recovery at all.  Most women need 1-2 weeks to recover after the surgery.  While there is a lifting restriction afterwards, there are maneuvers that moms can do to pick up their children and not cause problems to the breast or abdomen after the surgery.  I recommend consulting with a local plastic surgeon who can discuss your options and the expected recovery process.  Best of luck!

Dr. Dan Krochmal
MAE Plastic Surgery
Northbrook, IL

Chicago General Surgeon

Abdominoplasty vs Mommy Makeover

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The difference in recovery between an abdominoplasty and a mommy makeover ( abdomen and breasts) is the exact same.  Any of the breast surgeries ( augmentation, lift, or reduction) are pretty easy recovery.  Most patients are doing their normal activities at the one week mark.  The full abdominoplasty is what requires a longer recovery.  It is generally a couple of weeks of feeling sore, but doing pretty well after that.  However, no exercise or heavy lifting for a six week minimum.  This is one of the reasons why adding the breasts at the same time is advantageous - the recovery from the breasts is hidden in the abdominoplasty.  I hope this helps.

Tummy tuck

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Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Breast implants with or without a lift are commonly performed in patients during the same surgery.  Recovery time varies between patients, but usually two weeks is average until patients return to work.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

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Recovery after a mommy makeover versus abdominoplasty.

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The major parts of your recovery will be related to the tummy tuck part of the procedure. This involves tightening the muscles and takes longer to recover from and is more uncomfortable than any other part of the procedure. I don't think that doing any of the other components will make your recovery any slower. Generally you will be limited in lifting heavy things for up to about six weeks after the tummy tuck regardless whether you do any other procedures with it.

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


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The breast part of the op is not a major contributor to the recovery. The tummy tuck is the main issue and in particular the muscle repair. I do not see much difference between tummy vs mommy makeover in terms of recovery in my patients. 

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Tummy may require use of arms to lift one's self

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There are many ways in which the recovery differs. When performing the tummy alone, you will find yourself commonly using your hands to lift yourself out of bed, etc. This may be more restricted or uncomfortable when the implants are placed under the muscle. Also when performing a breast augmentation alone, the abdomen can swell. Performing both together may create additional and persistent swelling to the abdomen. Use of compression garments will help. However, performing both together in one stage often trumps the inconvenience of undergoing two separate procedures and recoveries.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Mommy Makeover Healing Time vs. Tummy Tuck

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Healing after the #tummytuck will take time. I have my patients 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.  No lifting or straining.  At three weeks increased level of activity and full, no restrictions, at 6 weeks.Combined operations are often performed with our Gynecology colleagues. Tubal ligation is a common post pregnancy procedure which is done at the time of many of the surgeries noted above. If you require a gynecologic operation or study (laparoscopy) and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, discuss these issues with your doctor. Combining these procedures decreases anesthetics, costs, and recovery time. You will likely be able to recover from the combined breast and abdominal procedure in the collective time period, where it would take longer if the procedures were completed separately. Best of luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy only vs mommy makeover

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Adding the breast surgery to the tummy tuck doesn't really add more down time. You will be slowed down more so by your TT than the breast surgery. You should not be out of commission for 5 weeks, will be a couple of weeks of slow moving, then lighter stuff, then full speed by around 5 week mark, just depends on how things go during your surgery. Many woman postpartum have deflated and ptotic breast, some need only an augmentation to volumize the deflation, others need only a lift and don't want the added volume, some want both, patient preference.

How long is recovery for a mommy makeover vs just a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your question.  The recovery should be about the same since the tummy tuck takes the longest to recover from.  This would generally be about 1-2 weeks before return to light duty work and about 4 weeks without any strenuous activity or exercise.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Mommy Makeover vs Tummy Tuck - difference in recovery time.

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Interesting.  I can't say I've heard that your breasts get pulled down from a tummytuck- that would have to be temporary as the breast has stabilizing internal anatomy on the rib cage that should prevent that.  Of all the surgeries we do on moms, the tummy tuck is usually the surgery that makes the mom feel like she's back to normal.  Get a great tummy tuck when timing works and don't try to short cut that.  In our practice, normally 2 weeks out of commission but heavy lifting we restrict for 6 weeks.  Best Wishes!!

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.