How is Recovery with Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift?

What is the recovery like doing a Tummy tuck and Breast lift at the same time? Should i do them together or two seperate surgeries?

Doctor Answers 18

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) and Breast Lift Rapid Recovery

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Congratulations!!  You are doing your research. 

First, it is common to do these two operations together.  Essentially this is a mommy makeover.  Tidy up the breast and the stomach  at the same time.  There is no need to separate the two. 

Second, recovery today is far different than what it used to be.  The tummy tuck part is certainly the bigger of the two procedures but there is a rapid recovery protocol that  can be employed that will get you back to the activities of daily living within a day or two. 

Using the no drain tummy tuck technique as well as long acting local anesthetic, allows your surgeon to start you on an early motion and stretching protocol right after surgery (in the recovery room).   This minimizes your pain and gets you recovered in about a day.  You  are not healed and will still be a little slow but you should be back doing most things like driving, going out to dinner, and light shopping within a day or so.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Healing and Recovery Following a Mommy Makeover

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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. Also some severe scars can be treated with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing. Additionally, scar therapy with scar maturation products (e.g. BioCorneum or Embrace) are suggested for managing scars. However, we recommend you wait to use scar improving products until a few weeks following your surgery. 
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

Recovery following Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift

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 Recovery for Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift is simultaneous. Nothing special about the breast surgery other than not using you chest muscles/arms to lift things and wearing your surgical bra and garments as directed by your plastic surgeon.

Immediately after surgery, within the first few hours, the patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Start walking flexed at the waist (in a stooped position) for a few minutes every 1-2 hours the evening of surgery and continuing daily except when sleeping. This will minimize your risk for blood clots. Wear your TED stockings. Following the tummy tuck procedure, you should be in a flexed position to minimize tension on the incision sites by to bending at the hips (waist) in order to reduce tension on the newly tightened skin. A recliner chair is perfect for this purpose but a pillow beneath your knees and several at the head of the bed will work well also. A 'reclined' or sitting position relieves tension on the incision. During the 6 weeks after surgery: 
In about one week you can gradually stand up straight.
Gradually increase activity as tolerated.
No sexual activity for 6 weeks after surgery.
Wiggle your toes and move your ankles in circles in bed every hour.
No heavy exercise, bending, lifting, baths, swimming, sun exposure, smoking, alcohol or sports
for 6 weeks following surgery after your surgeon has given you clearance to do so.
Limit napping to one short nap (less than an hour) per day to prevent sleep disturbance at night..
Strenuous activity and the lifting of more than ten pounds must be avoided.  Many patients are able to return to work and daily activities within 2 weeks of surgery.  Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months. Abdominoplasty recovery can be in some cases slow and uncomfortable requiring more time for a full recovery. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will be more comfortable after 6 weeks.

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Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift?

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Thank you for the question.
These two operations can be ( and are routinely) performed together.  Assuming you are in good health  and that you are working with well experienced board-certified  plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist  in a fully accredited surgery center/hospital  you should do well.
The tummy tuck portion of the operation  is a portion that requires the most “recovery”. I would suggest that you have a lot of help for the first 2 weeks at least. Return to more strenuous activity may require 4 to 6 weeks.
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.
I hope this helps.

Tummy tuck and breast lift

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I will often combine a tummy tuck and breast lift. I think it is a very common combination and saves money and recovery time to do them together.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How is Recovery with Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Given your desires, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. I would highly recommend continued diet and exercise prior to any consideration for body contouring as getting down to your ideal weight prior to the procedure will certainly give you the best results. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle will be needed in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

You should consult with a plastic surgeon at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. I typically recommend a 6 week period of no strenuous activity/vigorous exercise along with an abdominal binder for the same time period. It usually takes 6-12 weeks for full healing and swelling to subside before results final. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Allow 6 Weeks To Return To Activities & Exercising Following Combo Tummy Tuck & Breast Lift

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         The recovery time following tummy tuck and breast lift varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors. I find that performing these procedures together doesn’t significantly increase the length of recovery. I recommend minimal activity for about two weeks following the procedure. During this period, light activities such as bathroom and kitchen privileges are acceptable, but nothing more strenuous. After two weeks, patients can slowly resume most activities except those that involve strenuous exertion. After six weeks, patients should be able to resume all of their normal activities, including strenuous exertion and heavy lifting.


         Patients typically receive narcotic pain relievers for four to five days following surgery. They are then usually able to switch to double strength Tylenol. It’s important to have adequate support systems available. It’s not a procedure that you want to experience by yourself, especially if you have small children at home. It’s important to remember that wound healing continues for over a year and that you can expect continued improvement in your result.


         Finally, it’s normal to be apprehensive prior to undergoing a large surgical procedure; this anxiety rapidly disappears when you see your results, and healing is underway. 

Full Recovery From Tummy Tuck & Breast Lift May Take At Least 6 Weeks

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A tummy tuck has a longer postoperative recovery than does a breast lift. When performed together, the overall recovery will be determined by the recovery associated with the tummy tuck.

A standard breast lift normally entails repackaging the volume of the breast in a smaller skin envelope. This is accomplished by any one of a variety of techniques which will remove excess skin and lift the nipple area to a more aesthetically pleasing position. Normally, after a breast lift by itself, one is back to most normal day to day activities within three to five days. This would include driving your car. There may be some restrictions in your arm movement for a few weeks after surgery to allow for unimpeded wound healing.

A full abdominoplasty is a much more extensive procedure than a breast lift. Normally, a full abdominoplasty begins with a horizontal incision extending from one hop to the other just below your bikini line. The skin and fat layer is then lifted off of the underlying muscle layer up to the belly button. At this point, an incision is made around the belly button to allow for continued lifting of the skin and fat layer up to the rib cage. Commonly, the muscle layer is then tightened with a series of stitches from the rib cage down to the pubic bone. Following that, the skin and fat layer is pulled tight and the excess is removed and the belly button brought out through a new incision. Because of the large raw surface existing between the fat layer and the muscle layer, recovery and healing takes longer. You probably will not be driving your car for two weeks and full recovery may take six weeks.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Breast Lift and Tummy Tuck Recovery

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A breast lift and tummy tuck are two procedures that I very commonly do together, and highly recommend it to my patients if they are interested in both procedures.  Since you will have recovery time with both, many patients prefer to do them together so that they only have to go through the downtime once.  Many patients are able to return to work within 10 days to 2 weeks post surgery, and can resume all normal activities within 6-8 weeks.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Recovery from "Mommy Makeover"

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A mommy makeover typically takes four to five hours and is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Immediately after surgery, patients are placed in compression garments that must be worn for six weeks to help support and shape the healing tissues. If drains are placed, they are generally removed in the office in seven to ten days when they are putting out less than 30 ml per day. Recovery times following a mommy makeover vary, but patients are generally able to return to work in one to two weeks, light exercise in three to four weeks, and full recovery and exercise in five to six weeks. Antibiotics and pain medicines are prescribed following the surgery.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.