Is It Too Early to Go Back to Work?

I had breast augmentation and tummy tuck w/ smart lipo. I returned to work after 38 days. My work involves heavy lifting, pushing and pulling. I am an operating room nurse. When I came home after 3days of working, my abdomen is swollen and stinging. Will it affect the result and is it too soon to go back to work?

Doctor Answers 7

Returning to work aftera a tummy tuck

Normally, my recommendation is to wait 6 weeks before fully exercising strenuously.  This applies to work or any situation that is strenuous.  Otherwise swelling can be worstened and can even cause scars to have complications.  Returning prematurely should be taken very seriously so consulting with your board certified plastic surgeon is essential.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

When to go back to work after a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure to contour the abdomen, create a tight beautiful waist, and remove extra fat, skin, and stretch marks.

In our practice, we feel that as every patient is different, so is every tummy tuck. When we perform the initial consultation, we carefully review their concerns to determine what are the areas that they are most concerned with aunt, the treatment plan to specifically address these areas. In this manner every tummy tuck that we do is slightly different. Depending on components that we use for the tummy tuck, the patient's recovery process may be different as well.
After a standard tummy tuck with liposuction, we have had patients return to work anywhere from 10 to 21 days after surgery. Please keep in mind that it also depends on the amount of work and the amount of activity that is required.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Returning to work after a tummy tuck

My policy is let patients return to office duties at 2 weeks, but physical jobs, like yours, may take longer.  Certainly, after 4 weeks, most people can do most of their duties.  However, I wouldn't recommend that you move heavy patients or items in your job as an OR nurse.  Get help with these tasks for a few more weeks, or see if you can be assigned to a light duty position for a month.


Best wishes,

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Returning to work

You are just shy of 6 weeks, and I usually let patients return to most activities by then, but it really depends up0n how you are healing.  Speak with your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Always speak with your PS about work release and be specific about job duties.

As long as your PS has released you for those specific work duties and weight lifting it is ok to return to work.  If you are feeling pains, you should call your PS and discuss this with him/her just to make sure what you are doing is Ok and not causing any damage. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Back to work after tummy tuck and liposuction

After 4 to 6 weeks, most of the healing is complete so most activities, including work, can be resumed. However, it takes up to 1 year for the swelling to resolve and scar tissue to soften. It is common to have days where the lower abdomen is a bit more swollen than other days. It is unlikely to impact your result.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Breast augmentation and tummy tuck - return to work

You did well to return to work at 38 days. There is definitely a benefit to getting back to your routine - it is certainly possible to stay off too long.

I do think, however, that you should try to avoid heavy lifting for another couple of weeks to allow your muscle repair to heal.

Good luck!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

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.