How long after a mommy makeover before I can resume caring for my small children?

I am scheduled for a mommy makeover in December. I have twin boys who will be 18 months at that time. My mom and husband will be home to care for them for the first 3-4 weeks. Is this adequate time to recover before I resume complete care of them? The only lifting I will have to do is lifting them in and out of their cribs and into their high chairs.

Doctor Answers 11

Planning Your Recovery from a Mommy Makeover

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. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Mommy Makeover Recovery

I recommend to my patients no lifting over 10lbs for 6-8 weeks.  There is significant muscle repair that takes place with a tummy tuck, and you want to avoid any complications that might compromise your healing and final results.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Mommy Makeover Recovery Time

Thank you for your question. At 3-4 weeks you will be close. You will have to just take it day by day, and see how you tolerate recovery. Some are ready at 3 weeks, others need 4 or more, but very few need more than 4 weeks. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How long after a mommy makeover before I can resume caring for my small children?

I would not lift greater than 10 lbs for the first 6 weeks.

Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of mommy makeovers each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Mommy Makeover Recovery

Your plan sounds very reasonable. It takes weeks to months to completely recover from abdominal surgery. It is good that you have help with your children during this time. Do not push yourself, as everyone heals at a different pace. Follow your Plastic Surgeons post operative instructions for a fast recovery.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Recovery after Mommy Makeover

First off, congratulations on your twins! It's great that you will have your husband and your mother here to help you for the first four weeks or so. I advise my patients not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk (about 10 pounds) for the first few weeks. After that, I'd recommend that when you do lift your babies that you keep your elbows close to your torso and bend at the knees rather than the hips. After six weeks, you should be able to resume all normal physical activity.

Mark Deutsch, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Recovery after Mommy Makeover Surgery?

Thank you for the question. Overall, I think you have a very reasonable plan. You should however be aware about many patients and their plastic surgeons underestimate the recovery time ( with both physical and emotional components) involved with mommy makeover surgery. Of course, every patient's experience will be different; you will likely be the best predictor of how you will do compared to others who undergo similar surgery.

A few words of advice, I provide my patients who are about to undergo mommy makeover surgery, may be helpful to you:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.
2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.
3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.
4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.
6. 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.
7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.
8. 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).
9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.
10. 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.
11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

How long after a mommy makeover before I can resume caring for my small children?

That should be enough time to get them in an out of their cribs. Usually full activity like sports can be resumed in 6 weeks. Your end result will still take another 3 months however.

William Aiello, MD

Newport Beach CA

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Maybe a little longer

I think closer to 6 weeks for lifting those little ones is safer, especially since there are two of them. Ask your family and friends if they can help out a few more weeks so you can avoid prolonged healing and complications!

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Recovery after Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeover is a broad term. Are you talking about tummy tuck and breast augmentation? This typically requires a 4 week recovery until regular activity like running after little ones. That should be adequate. I would definitely recommend you ask your surgeon what he/she thinks. Best of luck

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 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.