How Long Will I Need Help for After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

I'm a slim fit 48 yr old considering a TT. I've been working out faithfully (weight training) for 30 years. I don't have excess skin or fat, just lax fascia that years of exercise has been unable to fix. Will these things work in my favour and help me get back on my feet faster? I live alone and it might be difficult to find family members or friends to babysit me for very long (they all work).

Doctor Answers 8

Recovery time (help needed) after tummy tuck

Most patients like to have some help with the kids and some daily activities for a few days maybe for a week. Usually by the second week you are able to do more and are feeling much better. It takes some patients 2 weeks to feel like they don't need any more help.

El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Being Fit for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Certainly being fit and active is helpful in surgery recovery, however, regardless of how "fit" one is there is still a finite period of recovery required from tummy tuck surgery.  Most patients will require 1-2 weeks of recovery from this type of surgery.   All patients would require at least 1-2 days of assistance immediately postop and this can be arranged if necessary preop.   I would encourage activity as a soon as tolerated but nothing strenous until 4-6 weeks after surgery and in particular, no weight training or activity that involves core strength until 6 weeks as the abdominal repair needs time to heal.   

One thing that I have seen in very active patients is a bit of a "low" during the surgery recovery due to the lack of exercise and most likely exercise related endorphins.  I think this leads the active/fit individual to get back to normal faster from this type of surgery.  


Leslie D. Kerluke, MD (retired)
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Help Requirements after Tummy Tuck

Help After Tummy Tuck Surgery is variable. For most patients it is only needed for a few days until you are comfortable with getting around, managing your drains and so on. Preparation in advance (food shopping and pre-preparation of meals for example). On the other hand, make arrangements if you feel that longer would be beneficial for you.

Here are some general guidelines of what to expect:

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 within two 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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are one of the more involved operations that we do as plastic surgeons. When tightening of the muscles are done it does cause some discomfort for the first 10 days or so. I generally tell people who are working to take at least 2 weeks off. I instruct all patients to have someone with them around the clock for the first 5 days and then on and off for the following 5 days. Most people resume work and exercise at 3-4 weeks and by 6 weeks they are "good as new". Final results are usually evident by 3-6 months. So, at least 10 days of supervision is what I recommend for you.

Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Help after tummy tuck surgery

Recovery is a very important part of the healing process. It is crucial that you have a good support system to help you during the first few weeks post-tummy tuck surgery. The fact that you are in good shape and good health will help you in your recovery period. You may need help for at least 2 weeks post-surgery to prevent any complications. It is necessary for you to refrain from any heavy lifting, exercise, or strenuous activity for 6-8 weeks to ensure the best result possible.
On this site, I do my best to give advice without a physical examination but I want you to know that a physical examination by a board certified physician is always the best way to get the most accurate information.
 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

People that are aerobically fit recover much more easily than those that are out of shape. The same can be said for psychological fitness. A person in a good frame of mind with a positive attitude has a better stress tolerance and is better able to handle recovery. Most people need hands on assistance for one to three days following an abdominoplasty. No medical expertise is required, just a responsible adult who can help with routine activities of daily living. A person that lives alone will do best if they have organized their food and transportation in advance and limited added activities for about 2 weeks. Most are somewhat fatigued for 4-5 weeks as their body is directing energy towards healing, but still may be able to return to week after about two weeks. Good luck!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Recommend tw weeks helps after tummy tuck

I would recommend that you try to get help for about two weeks after your tummy tuck surgery.  If you cannot get a family member or friend to help you, you might consider hiring someone online, through the newspaper, or through an agency.  I would not recommend that you stay alone immediately after a tummy tuck.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Recovery after Tummy Tuck

I generally advise my patients that they should take two weeks off work following tummy tuck surgery. It is helpful to have assistance for a day or two getting up and bathing. Walking is encourage as soon as possible and all of my patients are up for short walks within 4-6 hours after surgery to prevent blood clots forming in the legs. Strenuous activities like running and aerobic exercise can usually be resumed in 4-6 weeks. Hope this helps.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 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.