I have two children that are very young and have been considering a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty). On average, how long do you need to rest? My daughter who is only 16 months loves to be picked up and tossed into the air, and my son (3 months old right now) loves to be held all the time. I could not see myself having the ability to rest for more than a day, how fast do women bounce back from this type of surgery?
Lifting Kids After Tummy Tuck?
Doctor Answers 14
Tummy Tuck and Lifting
You will really need to wait 6 weeks before lifting anything heavy, including your kids. also, if you have a 3 month old son, I would suggest waiting for another 3-6 months prior to any surgery, as your abdomen should come down a bit from where it is now. Ideally, when you schedule your surgery, plan to have someone around for a week or so to help out, and then ask your spouse or partner to help with any lifting for several weeks after that. Good luck.
After Tummy Tuck, no lifting more than 10 lbs for 6 weeks
If you undergo a tummy tuck, wait 6 weeks before you lift anything greater than 10 pounds. You do not want to stress the repair of your rectus diastasis (the stretched portion of your "six-pack" abdominal muscles).
I would also recommend that you wait until your son is at least 6-12 months old. It's remarkable how much natural skin shrinkage women obtain after giving birth. Breast feeding really helps get rid of the extra weight, and is good for your baby too.
Lifting restrictions and activity limitations following tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
It is not specifically the strict weight of lifting that concerns us but the use of the stomach muscles. I have had one person. who was accustomed to having a bowel movement everyday, strain so intensely that they ruptured the muscle repair.
Our concerns with lifting are related to two features:
- The potential for bleeding in the first 24 hours and then again between 7-10 days
- The possibility of rupturing the muscle repair. This can occur anytime for 6 weeks after surgery.
However, the limitations are subject to interpretation and, in my practice, I advise patients to be cautious for 2 weeks. When lifting children, I ask that friends or partners place the child in your lap or that you use your legs and thighs to lift.
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Recovery time after tummy tuck
We try to have young mothers lift their babies as little as possible.
Certainly the 16 month old can walk with assistance although they would love to be carried. I speak from very recent experience, and how can you deny them when they look at you and hold their arms out?
Beyond those guidelines, I know young mothers ignore my advice on lifting, simply because they have no other choice.
The recurrenrce rate of the tightening of the fascia is almost nonexistent, from my experience, but if an umbilical hernia repair is performed, the recurrence rises in patients who are active too early.
Tummy tuck and exercise
I generally recommend waiting 6 weeks after a tummy tuck before performing heavy exercise such as lifting a child. The strain can put tension on the wounds and the underlying tissues. Also there is a greater chance of seroma which is collection of fluid under skin with more exercise.
Lifting little ones after tummy tuck
Week 1) Discomfort and tightness level progressively decreases with each day. Swelling decreases a great deal after one week.
Week 2) Unlikely to need any narcotic support except maybe at night. Swelling and tightness continues to improve compared to week 1
Weeks 3-6) May need tylenol or ibuprofen for intermittent discomfort. Swelling completely resolved. Tightness may continue as the implants over an additional few months into their final position. Most people return to work in some capacity.
As far as activity, here is a safe guide:
1) No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks (a gallon of milk as a guide).
2) Resume walking at a leisurely pace right after surgery (e.g. 2 mph)
3) At 2 weeks, you can walk 2 miles at 2mph
4) At 3 weeks, you can walk 3 miles at 3mph
5) At 4 weeks, you can walk 4 miles at 4mph
6) At 5 weeks, you can jog 5 miles at 5mph
7) At 6 weeks, you can resume all activities, but listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don't over do it.
So as far as the little ones, I would recommend having help for basic needs like lifting into the car seat. You can cuddle with them while you are sitting down, but you should avoid the tendency to multitask with one child in your arms while you are busy doing other tasks.
Weight Lifting Restrictions after tummy tuck.
The short answer is that most patients
get help with their young children as needed to protect and shorten the repair time.
Here are the recommendations and expectations in my office for my TT patients:
Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities withintwo weeks of surgery.
It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer.
Recovery from Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck to include plication or repair of the rectus muscles requires at least 2 weeks without lifting anything more than a pound or two. Lifting children could result in tearing of the repair. From 2-6 weeks after surgery gentle lifting with good technique is possible but the danger of injury is still possible.
I would recommend you consider surgery when you children are older.
Lifting and child care after abdominoplasty
It's hard to suppress the maternal instinct for a while after having a tummy tuck when you have small children, but you do need to focus on your own recovery. Nearly always, when a tummy tuck is needed after pregnancies, the muscles need to be pulled and sutured into their original position. This is analogous to a hernia repair and takes 6 weeks for complete healing. However, you should be able to do most routine activities within a week, just be careful.
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.