Return to Work, Still Not Standing Straight?

Hi, I'm 2 weeks post op, full TT with lipo on my flanks, today. I am a NICU nurse and I'm planning on returning to work 2 days before my 4 weeks post op. should that be enough? considering I only carry little babies on my lap when feeding. another thing is, I'm still a little hunch over when walking, is there any trick or ways to speed up the standing up straight part? i can stand up straight but once i start walking, i go back to the same hunch over posture. thanks in advance for the answers!!!

Doctor Answers 9

Return to work 4 weeks after tummy tuck is OK

In 4 weeks after a tummy tuck you should be able to lift 30 or more pounds, no problem for your NICU job.  The skin and muscles will stretch soon enough and you will be standing straight up in no time!

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Return to work after tummy tuck

You may have seen video of the amazing NYU NICU nurses carrying babies down 15 flights of stairs in the dark during Hurricane Sandy. My reaction is that, if you can't work erect, then it is too soon to go back to work. I do have a concern about your ability to function at 100% of your capacity which is essential in the health care professions. Of course, you are only 2 weeks postop and things may change considerably over the next couple of weeks.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Return to Work after Tummy Tuck?

Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck operation.

 As a nurse, you understand that every patient recovers differently. Therefore, your own plastic surgeon will be in the best position to advise you depending on exactly how you are progressing.

On average, I think the majority of patients are able to return to the type of work you are describing. However, there are a subset who would require an additional few weeks before they feel ready to return to full-time/high responsibility work.

If in doubt, delay returning to work. Also, do not rush standing fully upright;  it is not worth compromising your results...

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Still Not Standing Straight after TT.

Most patients can stand erect by two weeks. Your surgeon can help with some stretching exercises.  The one I find most helpful is to have you stand against a wall, back flat on the wall, and use your legs to straighten your back. You will need to be near a desk to table to hold onto if needed. This avoids using the unhappy back muscle but uses the leg muscles to break the spasm. 

Thanks, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Standing up and working two weeks after tummy tuck

You sound very motivated to return to your daily life.  As a nurse you will have great demands at work and become tired very quickly even at two weeks after surgery.  Be prepared for that tiredness.  Most patients stand up completely over a range of recovery times.  At 6 weeks virtually everyone is upright.  You should continue to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds this early on, but at 6 weeks  most patients return to the gym.  Good Luck.

Neil Gottlieb, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery is not always easy

 My experience is that everyone has a different road to recovery - but at the 4 week mark post op - most patients are feeling 'back to themselves' and are ready to return to work in some capacity. Listen to your body, and perhaps schedule a couple of shorter shifts, as its likely that you've deconditioned somewhat since your big surgery. Good luck !

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Standing Straight after Tummy Tuck

Four weeks should be enough time to return to work.  You should be able to stand up straight by that time.  If the wound is healing well, you should be able to slowly stretch it without concern about hurting yourself.  Obviously, your surgeon is the best person to advise you on this.  Sitting and holding small babies should be no problem.  Good luck.


Martin O`Toole, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck with liposuction

Congratulation on your successful surgery. As you know recovery takes time. With your surgery, I give my patient a basic guideline for recovery. At about 3 weeks postop, you should be able to resume normal daily activities but no lifting. So it's likely another week or so you should be able to stand upright. Remember to listen to your body. If you try too hard or get too active at this period you can undo the muscle or develop seroma. By 4 weeks, I expect you should be able to get back to work as you described. Make sure you discuss it with your plastic surgeon regarding the do's and don'ts. 

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews




4 weeks post op should be ok to return back to work, but no heavy lifting. At 4 weeks you should be standing up straight. You need to make sure you ask your surgeon what he/she thinks. She/he would be the best person to answer your questions.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.