Estimated Time off of Work from Abdominoplasty with Complications?

I had an abdominoplasty with plication on 10/12/11. The procedure lasted around 4 1/2 hours. Later that same night while in recovery I had internal bleeding and had to undergo emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. That procedure lasted another four hours. I lost 3 pints of blood in total and two days postop required a blood transfusion (2 units). I am curious as to how much time off of work is typical for this situation. I have up to 12 weeks allowed through disability. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 10

Time off Post Surgery

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Thank you for your question.

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 AT LEAST 6 weeks before returning to full activity without restrictions, especially since you've had complications.

Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Time off of Work from Abdominoplasty with Complications

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Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for postoperative care. Patients generally can return to light activity 7 to 10 post surgery. More strenuous activity can generally begin 2 to 6 months post surgery. Without physical examination, it will not be possible to guide you regarding if additional time off would be necessary. Consult with your surgeon as he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

It depends, but time off should be comparable to standard tummy tuck

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The bleeding that you experienced may lead to an increased chance of pseudobursa or seroma formation but in general should not require that much more recovery time than a standard tummy tuck procedure--one without complications.  Your estimated time of disability should be more than enough time.  I would wear your compression garment religiously and have your doctor keep a close eye on you for seroma formation.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Time off work after abdominoplasty

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Most women need about 2 weeks off from work after an abdominoplasty and 3 or 4 weeks if their job is more physical.  After complications such as bleeding that was stopped by return to surgery, you may need more time but by six weeks most poeple have healed enough to return to their jobs.  The exact details will depend on your unique situation and should be something that you discuss with your individual surgeon.

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Returning to work following an abdominoplasty with complications

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Your disability time available should be far more than adequate to cover your time off from work. When you return would depend on multiple factors including your type of job (desk vs manual labor), the speed of your particular recuperation and your general healing. Your doctor can probably provide you with a more accurate answer.

Here is a question to you: " Is your doctor a board certified plastic surgeon or another type of doctor?" The answer can be very important in your course going forward.

Good luck

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Complicated tummy tuck and recovery

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Some complications from tummy tuck can have a significant impact on your time back to work. Early bleeding after tummy tuck, and early intervention and correction can set you back several days, however the quick response to the situation certainly saved the day and you should do well and return with only a short delay.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Length of recovery after complications

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Sorry to read about your complications. I hope you had surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon. I have never seen a case requiring transfusion in over 25 years in practice. Generally, patients can return to work two weeks after abdominoplasty but without knowing the cause for the bleeding and what surgical steps were taken to correct it, I can't comment on the duration of your recovery period. Speedy recovery to you!

Tummy tuck, complications, and work

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Thank you for your question.  I'm sorry that you had this complication.  It is safe to say that it will probably take at least 3-4 weeks to get off pain medication and start driving. You may not have the energy to get back to work for several weeks after that. 4-6 weeks is an estimate, but healing can take longer with complications.  It is also going to be unpredictable how long your drains stay in place.  Drain output can take longer to come down after this type of complication.

Best of luck for a speedy and complete recovery.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Time off work

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There are 2 questions. The first is what you are allowed to do which was addressed well in the other post. The second is what you will have the energy to do. Having significant blood loss with prolong your recovery and one can not say how this will be for a given person.

Tummy Tuck Recovery?

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Thank you for the question. I'm sorry to hear about the complication  you have experienced;  hopefully remainder of your recovery will be very smooth. The time off of work will depend on how well you recuperate as well as what type of work you do. Both of these  factors can be best assessed by your operating plastic surgeon. For most types of work,  even with the complication that you have experienced, you should be okay to return 4 to 6 weeks after surgery ( assuming  no setbacks). Often patients undergoing major surgery experience significant ups and downs both physically and emotionally after their surgery. Some words of advice may be helpful.... Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

  Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

  Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).
 Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

  Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

  Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery. Best wishes during the remainder of your recovery.

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.