Is Physical Therapy Required/needed or Even Recommended After Having a Tummy Tuck, Breast Augmentation and Liposuction?

19 days ago I had a mommy makeover. Today I drove my kids to school although I'm not yet walking upright. While driving my abdominal muscles became stiff and tight. Getting out of the car when I got home was a nightmare. I walked into the house hunched over like a 100 year old woman with a curved spine. The outer muscles of my breasts hurt and bulge, and I'm beginning to feel like a seized up machine or a beaten up old lady. I think I need some type of physical therapy. What could I do?

Doctor Answers 3

Physical Therapy for a Mother Makeover

The symptoms you describe are normal for the time from surgery. Give yourself some time to heal and do not over do it. Limit your activity if it hurts. Keep close to your surgeon and get his/her advice.All the best

Physical therapy after Mommy Makeover

Hi. Thank you for your question. Even though not mandatory, in my practice I always recommend my patients to get massages sessions with my therapist.

Usually 10 daily sessions of massages, and the use of ultrasound for lymphatic drainage, aid in the reabsortion of fluid, reducing inflammation and helping in the overall recovery process. 

Consult your board certified plastic surgeon, to get his/her opinion beforehand.

Rafael E. Estevez Hernandez, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Healing and Recovery after a Mommy Makeover

Pain varies per person and medication to control #discomfort will be provided. Healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

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.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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