How long would you recommend someone take off work for a Tummy tuck?
Doctor Answers 24
How long would you recommend someone take off work for a Tummy tuck?
Typically, it takes 2 full weeks to recover to return to a non physically demanding job. Personal pain tolerance should be taken into account as well before moving forward.
Best wishes to you and happy healing.
Working after Tummy Tuck
Dhaval M. Patel
Double board certified
Time off from Tummy Tuck
After a #tummytuck #surgery, #swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.
I suggest waiting 6 weeks before returning to full activity without restrictions.
Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.
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Recovery from TT
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): Post Operative Instructions
Thank you for your questions.
Every one responds a little different and requires a varied recuperation peroid.
Most patients are nearly self sufficient after the 5 th postoperative day and return to non demanding physical jobs in 2 weeks.
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:
a. 30 Days 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
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. 14 Days 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
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
4) no shaving of pubic area (can increase infection rate) Operating Staff will clip pubic hair if needed.
d. 3 Days Before
1) start anti bacterial decolonization showers
2) topical antibiotics
d. 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
e. 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
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).
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).
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.
c)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.
d)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
How long should you take off from work?
Post op healing
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram
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