Recovery After Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair

I was an extremely fit person before my tummy tuck with muscle repair. I am on leave from the army. I had minimal loose skin, and the only reason I needed a full tuck was because of the seperated muscle. Because of my physical condition, how long can I expect recovery to take?

Doctor Answers 6

Muscle repair needs time off to heal properly

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

When the muscle is tightened during a tummy tuck, we ask our patients to be careful for 6 weeks.

For 6 weeks we ask that they do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds, hold they belly when coughing or sneezing.  During these 6 weeks they must wear an abdominal binder at all times (except when showering/bathing) and we recommend that they continue to wear it for 3 months after, whenever they are involved in any strenuous physical activity.  Most of our patients actually get used to it and prefer to wear the binder, it gives them a piece of mind knowing they are protecting their muscle repair

The muscle repair must be protected while the wounds are healing.  A suture/stitch that is holding everything together can rip if patients are not careful.  The purpose of the suture is to simply hold the repaired muscle together while it is healing and scars form that will eventually hold the repaired muscle in place.  This takes about 6 weeks and that is the reason we give our patients instructions to avoid strenuous physical activity during the first 6 weeks.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

6 weeks for full recovery after TT muscle repair

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Although no 2 cases are the same, in general the healing time for muscle reair with abdominoplasty is the same as for a hernia repair which is 6 weeks for unrestricted physical activity. However, you should feel pretty good and be able to do most routine activities within 2 weeks.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Post Tummy Tuck Recovery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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.

Recovery after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Recovery varies from one individual to another. In general, light non-impact activiities may resume as soon as 4 2-3 weeks after surgery but this will vary by physician. It may take up to 3-4 months prior to resuming normal unrestricted activities.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

Recovery is affected by a patient's overall level of fitness, and so it is possible that yours will be a bit shorter and smoother than average, but in general, expect to be feeling fairly strong and ready after a few weeks, but to be restricted from full exertion for 6 weeks after surgery.

Congratulations on your new body!

Recovery from a Tummy Tuck or Abdoinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The recovery from a tummy tuck should not be more than a few days. You are not healed and you will not be back at the gym in two or three days but you should be able to get out for walks, go to dinner, drive and do light house work etc. This may seem a little contrary to other answers you may get, but using a rapid recovery protocol, we actually expect you to be up and doing things the next day.

This applies to all tummy tucks, even when there is extensive muscle repair or hernia repair.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 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.