I'm a nurse and I'm getting a tummy tuck and I wanted to know how long before I can go back to work full duty?

Doctor Answers 23

Recovery time after a tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. I have operated on many nurses who have undergone a tummy tuck. It is rare that nurses have only desk jobs - and most underestimate just how much work they do and how much lifting and walking they do as they take care of patients! Since most abdominoplasties involve tightening of the abdominal wall fascia, you will need to restrict your activities during the first six weeks after a tummy tucks so that your repair is not compromised. If the fascial sutures do tear, you may end up with a localized bulge that will compromise your result. Therefore, no patient lifting, but also no lifting of anything more than 15 pounds, no squatting, and in general avoiding any core trunk exercises. My best wishes for an uneventful recovery.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

I'm a nurse and I'm getting a tummy tuck and I wanted to know how long before I can go back to work full duty?


Thank you for your question. After the Tummy Tuck operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will have stiches and bandages which will be removed after the 10th day. You can start to do your daily activities 3 days after the operation but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Returning to work

If you’re getting a tummy tuck and correcting diastasis recti, you might have to refrain from full nursing duties for about 8 weeks. Nursing can involve strenuous activities, like lifting patients, therefore 8 weeks is recommended. However, if your work is sedentary, then you can return much sooner. Having said that, you should really ask your surgeon what they recommend. Their advice might be different.

When can I return to full duty as a nurse after tummy tuck?

      If your nursing duties include heavy lifting, moving patients, and similar duties, then you will be advised not to do this for 6-8 weeks after your surgery.  However, if you could modify your return to work and temporarily be on light duty schedule, then you could be back at work by 2-3 weeks.  Discuss with your plastic surgeon.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Time off work

In my practice, most of my patients return to work at 2 weeks so long as no strenuous activities are required.  Your surgeon is in charge of your care and post operative instructions so please follow those recommendations.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

I'm a nurse and I'm getting a tummy tuck and I wanted to know how long before I can go back to work full duty?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming surgery. After a tummy tuck and muscle repair it's typically recommended that you not lift greater than 10-15 pounds for six weeks. If you are able to avoid lifting/transfers/etc, I would anticipate that you would be back at work after 2-3 weeks. Speak with your surgeon about their exact recommendations.

When can I do back to work?

Thank you for your question.
Generally I advise my patients to plan for a two week recovery after Tummy Tuck. While you should be able to work at a computer and be mobile after 5 days you need to not be under any stress during your recovery.
Recovery also depends on the type of Tummy Tuck. Recovery from a Full Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair will take longer than recovery with a Mini.
Plan two to three weeks. If you recover sooner that will be a plus for you.

I recommend to ask this to your PS, he knows your medical history and he will give the best answer, good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 329 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery period

Thank you for your question.  It is usually recommended that patients avoid strenuous activity and lifting more than 10-15 lbs for six weeks following a tummy tuck.  As long as your work does not require heavy lifting (patients), you would likely be able to return after 2-3 weeks.  To be sure, discuss the postoperative instructions with your board certified plastic surgeon.

I'm a nurse and I'm getting a tummy tuck and I wanted to know how long before I can go back to work full duty?

Thank you for the question. Normally a full recovery in general can take from 6-8 weeks. This can allow you to return to normal activities without any restrictions in most patients. If you perform light duty you may be able to return to work as early as 2 weeks. It is best to discuss this with your board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck.

I'm a nurse and I'm getting a tummy tuck and I wanted to know how long before I can go back to work full duty?

The answer depends entirely on your duties. If you do desk duty you can return in a few days. If you are involved in CPR duties, it will be several weeks. Anything else will be somewhere in between. The answer will be different if no muscle repair is necessary. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.