Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck and breast augmentation are great procedures to combine as they address some of big changes that happen after pregnancy or weight changes. It is often referred to as a mommy makeover. It is a bigger procedure and may often require a night in the hospital. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail, review if there are any medical reasons to stage the procedure. If they deem you are healthy to have have the combined procedure, then you will only have one recovery. In addition, with the baby, I would recommend that you seek additional support until you get beyond the 4-6 week period.
Fortunately the recovery time for a breast lift and tummy tuck procedures occurs for the most part simultaneously, so you will recover in a similar time period. Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more. 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. We can arrange for a nurse to stay with you if helpful. It is best to play it safe and avoid any strenuous activity. 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. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more – please discuss with your doctor for specific questions.
Although you may be the exceptional patient that will be returning to most activities at 2 weeks after surgery, you would be wise to find “additional support” for a total of 4 weeks after surgery.
A few additional words of advice may be helpful:
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.
A mommy makeover is a popular procedure that combines abdominal and breast rejuvenation. After a tummy tucked in breast lift, the majority of the recovery process will be focused on the tummy tuck. After a tummy tuck, you should expect to have a 2 to 3 week recovery process where some of your activities will be limited. In our practice, we recommend that the patients walk as much as possible after their surgery to help open their lungs, increase their appetite and spur on the recovery process.
I think that this is a reasonable amount of time to schedule for additional help.
Of course at two weeks, you should still exercise caution and do the vast majority of your lifting using your lower extremities rather than your stomach muscles and upper extremity. Begin a slow and gradual return to lifting and straining. Avoid sudden heavy lifting for at least 3-4 weeks.
It may be best to seek additional support. It could be enough time but I do not think that two weeks will be enough recovery time to be lifting your baby around. You want to make sure you don't put yourself at risk for more complications as that would take even more time away from your children.I would recommend waiting at least six weeks after your surgery to be lifting over ten pounds. Definitely consult with your plastic surgeon about this.
Recoveirng from multiple surgeries may take a bit more out of you then doing one. However, doing both of these operations together is usually reasonable. I would say recovery to go back to routine activities would take about 2 weeks. Heavy lifting and exertion 4-6 weeks.
You will recover from your breast surgery in just a few days. The tummy tuck is the limiting factor, but without complications, you shoud be able to lift your 5 month old in 2 weeks. That's certainly the experience of our patients.
The amount of exercise and activities that you perform after surgery is very dependent on the type of surgery performed. Breast surgery, believe it or not, is not that debilitating. Most patients have minimal pain/discomfort following breast surgery. As a male I don't understand this but it seems to be true.
The plication or tightening of the abdominal muscles is where a majority of the pain will come into play. Repair of the rectus diastasis is done by vertically repairing the muscles so contraction won't necessarily be affected by muscle contraction, i.e. sit-ups or similar.
I have found that younger women, no offense intended, have a slightly harder time with recovery than older patients but it is very patient dependent. I think that if you're driven and understand the need to be back to functional status for your children after 2 weeks you'll be find. But you MUST use appropriate lifting techniques.
I think its reasonable to plan for a two week recuperation period following combined breast surgery and abdominoplasty.
In healthy active individuals two weeks is an appropriate period of time to expect to resume a normal social schedule--work, school, shopping,etc. --Not for a dance class at the gym or a hiking trip in the Grand Canyon.
It is very important to plan ahead in order to make sure that you have the appropriate help available to assist you with not only your needs but also your childrens'.
You have done a great job in securing your husbands availabilty for those two weeks postop. If it takes you longer than two weeks, do you have a revised plan? Carrying a baby that weighs 10-20lbs after this two week period may not seem much but you may be suprised.
You and your doctor can best work out the specifics.
In summary, these procedures are commonly performed together on a wide range of patients with different needs.
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