Please Share a General Timeframe when I'm "Out of the Woods" for Developing Certain Complications, and when I Can Begin Things?

40 yo, PO with: TT with MR, breast lift, lipo to inner thighs, hips, and tummy. Everyone is different, but generally, in a healthy, well-healing person, what's the timeframe for recovery stages? At how many weeks am I realistically "safe" from developing a seroma? From "spitting sutures"? From wound dehiscence? From increased edema? When lymph is reconnected? When my toddler can slam into me? Be picked up? When I can start stretching / twisting my core (I'm stiff with decreased ROM now). Thnx!

Doctor Answers 5

Recovery time after a mommy makeover

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As a general rule, I tell my patients after a mommy makeover that they are safe to return home the same day as the surgery.  I want my patients up and walking that night (although they will be hunched over).  By 4-5 days you should feel up to answering phone calls/returning emails, etc.  By 10 days you should be back to work.  At 3 weeks you are safe to do certain cardio workouts.  By 6 weeks you should be fully healed and safe from doing any harm to the surgery site.  If you have no complications at this point, you are very unlikely to have any in the future.

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover & Returning to Activity

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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.

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

When to Resume Full Activities After Mommy Makeover

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I tell my patients to wait a full 6 weeks before resuming all activities, but I watch how they are healing to start adding in some activities gradually before then. It is important to follow your surgeons recommendations as every patient is different.

Good Luck.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

6 weeks Before Resuming Vigorous Activity after Mommy Makeover

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   In general after surgeries of the nature you had performed, I would recommend 6 weeks before considering any vigorous activity (including toddler lifting).  You should not have any problems with wound separation or seroma after that time period as well.  Good Luck.

Activity after Plastic Surgery

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I generally tell patients 4 weeks to resume vigorous activity.  The exception being 6 months for no sit-ups after a tummy tuck. Seromas will usually declare themselves within the first few weeks post-tummy tuck (after drain removal).  Hope this helps.

Peter J. Simon, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

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.