I Am Having Major Tummy Tuck in 7 Weeks, How Long Before Can Go Back to Horse Riding Job?

I am having major tummy tuck in 7 weeks but i am a yard manager mucking out 20 horses a day as well as teaching people to ride. it is very manual, how long am i looking at having off as i will need to inform them? is 2 weeks enough time before i get back into it? i know it will probably be 6 weeks or so before i can ride? many thanks!

Doctor Answers 17

Returning to work after a Tummy Tuck

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Dear Anon4073,  Thank you for your question.  For most abdominoplasty patients, they can return back to a desk job in 10 to 14 days.  More strenuous jobs though require a longer recovery and the exact length of recovery varies from job to job.  From your job description, it would appear that 6 weeks would be the expected downtime but I would strongly suggest you discuss this with your board-certified plastic surgeon before proceeding.  

The dangers of over-stressing the repair include tearing of the repair, seromas(fluid collections under the skin and subcutaneous tissues), bleeding, delayed wound healing, and increased pain and swelling.  Even though an abdominoplasty procedure is an elective procedure, you own it to your body to give it the time to recover and give yourself the best opportunity to obtain the best results possible.  I applaud you for asking this question before having your surgery so that you can make the correct arrangements for you to have a successful procedure and recovery.  Good Luck!

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Time off work

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The question is 1) how will you feel 2) what are your restrictions. I agree that 6-8 weeks are needed before you can ride or do manual labor or strenuous activity. It takes 6 weeks for the healing strength of the tissues to be adequate to resist tearing for this kind of thing. You also need to consider how you will feel even working within your restrictions. I can tell 2 weeks will absolutely not be sufficient time

Time off with tummy tuck

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I tell my patients that you should wait 6 weeks before doing anything strenuous.  I also ride horses and I realize that it depends on what you are doing specifically.  If you are just doing slow, flat work around the arena then you can probably start up in about 3 weeks depending on what your surgeon tells you.  For anything more such as jumping I would wait the six.  It might be tough using your core the first few weeks.  Good luck!

Activity after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

Returning to very strenuous activity such as " mucking out horses”  may require at least 6 to 8 weeks ( minimum)  after tummy tuck surgery. You should check with your plastic surgeon to see if he/she agrees.

Given your question a few words of advice may be helpful before this major operation.....

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.

When Can I Ride a Horse?

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Thank you for your question.

After a #tummytuck #surgery, #swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

I suggest waiting 6 weeks before returning to full activity without restrictions.

Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Major Sport Activity Following Tummy Tuck Recovery

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Strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for at least 6 weeks and must be approved by your plastic surgeon who will give you the best advice. i would recommend 8 weeks or longer for horseback riding, but again would defer to your Plastic Surgeon. Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. 3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated.
You will be encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for a minimum of  6-8 weeks after surgery.

Time off Work for Yard Manager

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Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for postoperative care. Patients generally can return to light activity 7 to 10 post surgery. More strenuous activity can generally begin 2 to 6 months post surgery. Horseback riding will probably be closer to the 2 month mark. Consult your surgeon has he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Physical activity after a tummy tuck should be reserved for closer to 3-4 weeks

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Cleaning out horse stalls at 2 weeks after a tummy tuck may be too soon.  Your plastic surgeon has his/her own specific protocols but I suspect they will give you a comparable answer.  You may need to wait about 3-4 weeks before some physical exertion can be started.  Again, all of this also depends on what type of tummy tuck is performed and how tight the closure is at completion.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck - I Am Having Major Tummy Tuck in 7 Weeks, How Long Before Can Go Back to Horse Riding Job?

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I generally recommend no exercise AT ALL for 3 weeks...and at that point (if you feel like it) you can start slowly and advance as tolerated.

Of course, each situation is different and it is important to individualize both the surgical care, and the care afterward.  But - and this is even more the case if you're having some lipo at the same time - starting physical activity at two weeks post op may be too early.  I would suggest, instead, that you plan on 3 weeks.  If you feel great at two you can probably try it a little bit, but it's better to be prepared.

And I agree with giving yourself plenty of time before you incorporate the most active portions of what you do.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

I Am Having Major Tummy Tuck in 7 Weeks, How Long Before Can Go Back to Horse Riding Job?

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Best to ask your chosen surgeon HIS postoperative protocols. We each have differing requirements. I would only listen to my surgeon not any of us. 

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.