Can I pick up my 13 month old 2 weeks post-op?

I am looking at getting BL/A and TT. I will have help for 2 weeks post-op but after that I will be on my own. I have a 13 month old (she'll be 15 months then) that will have to be picked up for bed, high chair, car seat. She currently weighs 20 lbs. Will I be able to do this without causing damage?

Doctor Answers 10

Lifting Two Weeks After Surgery

Lifting Two Weeks After Surgery

Surgeries like liposuction or breast augmentations offer no problems for lifting after surgery since these structures are not weight bearing. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is, however, a little different. Although lifting uses your back and shoulder muscles, all of your core muscles including the stomach muscles are used to stabilize your trunk when lifting. If the stomach muscles were tightened during the tummy tuck (and they most commonly are) then tightening those muscles will strain the muscle repair. The more you lift, the greater the strain. If the strain is too great too soon then the stitches used to tighten the muscles can pull loose. As time and healing progress then the sutures perform less of the work and the actual healing process strengthens the muscle repair allowing more load to be tolerated.

In general, the healing strengthens rapidly during the first six weeks after surgery at which point it is at about 80% of its final strength. At that point the strengthening slows down until final strength is achieved. For most people, we recommend that they not do any lifting heavier than 25 pounds during the first six weeks. After that time their activities are unrestricted, although for body builders and weight lifters we recommend that they slowly work themselves back into their heavy lifting routine after six weeks and not suddenly jump back into heavy lifting.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover & Caring for Others

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. 
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.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Picking up 20 pound child 2 weeks after tummy tuck

I am glad you will have help the first 2 weeks. You should be able to pick up your child but you may need to vary your technique so that you don't bend over then stand straight. For instance, she can climb onto your neck from a high chair and you can sit down and let her get down to the floor from them. Discuss this with your surgeon, so you are clear what you are allowed to do.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lifting a child two weeks after a tummy tuck.

 In my practice you would be permitted to lift your child the two weeks provided  it could be done safely relative to the child. You would not done any damage to the operation but you would have to be careful not to drop the child if there is any discomfort.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Lifting after tummy tuck and breast lift/augmentation

Every doctor has his/her own protocol for resuming activities following surgery.  In my office, I tell patients they can resume routine activities as soon as they feel up to it, more strenuous activities after three weeks.  Three weeks is my magic number for any surgery and it has served me well for twenty-five years now.  With regard to small children, this is not an unusual situation.  You HAVE to put them in car seats and high chairs, so do that.  I just don't want my patients bench-pressing the kid.  My usual answer is to use common sense.  If you are doing something that hurts, don't do it.  Either that or get some help.  Lifting a child occasionally probably won't hurt you.  I just want you to avoid any activity that works up a sweat or gets your blood pressure up for three weeks.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Post op routine after mommy makeover

Most plastic surgeons advise their patients to wait 6 weeks prior to lifting >15-20 pounds. With a tummy tuck, you will most likely undergo repair of the rectus muscles and this has to be strong enough prior to lifting children. Check with your plastic surgeon to see what he or she recommends. 

Farah Naz Khan, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Baby lifting 2 weeks postop

Thanks for your question.  Best to check with your surgeon regarding their postoperative restrictions.  In my practice, we have a graduated return of activity.  At 3-4 weeks you may resume cardio activity, but at least 6 weeks for lifting more than 10-15lbs.  No bench presses, planks, or core activity for 2 months.  Good luck. 

Matthew H. Steele, MD
Sioux City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Can I pick up my 13 month old 2 weeks post-op?

I agree with Dr. McMahan, at two weeks post op you are not fully healed.  If you had a muscle repair, it will take approximately six weeks before the repair is strengthened by your own scar tissue.  Check with your surgeon for their recommendation. 

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Weight limitation after tummy depends on you surgeon

Thank you for your question.  You should ask this question to your surgeon and follow his/her recommendation.  Most surgeons recommend not lifting more than around 20 lbs for six weeks. This is because it takes about six weeks because it takes that period of time for you to build up enough scar tissue so that you are not relying on the sutures to hold the muscle together. The answer may depend on what type of muscle repair is done.  I prefer to double sew the muscle to prevent my patients from accidentally tearing out the sutures. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Activity after a Mommy Makeover

At 20lbs if I was just the breast procedures you were having you would be fine to start to carefully start to lift her. But with a procedure like a tummy tuck I recommend my patients not lift, pull or push anything over 20 lbs for the first 3 weeks. Lifting can cause you to strain which puts pressure/tension on the muscle that was tightened with sutures to repair the diastasis of separated muscle. That area needs time to relax and heal properly. Another important restriction to keep in mind is limiting the amount of twisting/turning of the abdomen. The tissue and skin needs time to adhere back down to the underlying tissue. During this procedure the tissue is dissected and re-draped to tighten and remove the excess skin. If the tissue does not adhere the risk of a seroma forming in the abdomen after the drain/drains are removed is possible.

Michael E. Ciaravino, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 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.