Returning to Work from a MM After 1 Week Only - Will I Be Ok?

Hello to all, Thank you in advance for your replies.... I'm schedule for a MM on Nov 19 of this year, the thing is I only get a week off work - no exceptions. I'm starting to worry if I will be ok to return to work in just 1 week. Will I be able to drive on my own? How to I deal with the drains? I'm a export freight forwarding agent so I will be sitting down for the most part. Any reccomendations to make the transition back to work smoother?

Doctor Answers 13

MMO Recovery

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Typically I do recommend that my mommy makeover patients plan to take two weeks off of work even for a sedentary job, but I know many of them cheat a little on that…the exact time it takes to be ready depends on a few variables. The type of job you are going back to makes a big difference. If your job truly does not require any lifting or being on your feet a lot, then you could go back sooner than someone who has a more physical job. The specific things being done for your mommy makeover play into it too – if you just need an augmentation, a mini tummy tuck and liposuction you would feel better a lot quicker than someone who needs a full tummy tuck, breast augmentation and lift along with liposuction. Also different people experience pain differently. Some patients look like they are in agony the day after just a breast augmentation, while some of my patients with circumferential abdominoplasty (all the way around) walk in like nothing happened and do not need any pain meds – everyone is different! Usually after a mommy makeover (any combo) patients are off of their pain meds by a week after surgery, and once you are off the meds and feeling limber enough, it is ok to resume driving. Most people still have drains at one week, so you will need to “work around” them. Some people either stash the bulbs in a pocket or fanny pack to keep them out of the way. If you really do have to go back to work after one week, you will probably survive it and not worsen your overall results, but expect to be sore and very tired at the end of the day. Just try not to be too active and do too much too soon, or you will slow down your healing time and increase the chances for healing problems. Be safe!

Returning to Work and Activity Post 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.
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

Recovering From a Mommy Makeover

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Thank you for the question. the amount of time need for recovery will be dependent on what procedures are done. A mommy makeover is not the same for everyone. Having said that it is not unreasonable to be able to return to work after 7 to 10 days if your job does not require heavy lifting and/or strenuous labor. Patients will tolerate having the drains in during this time. if your current occupation requires heavy lifting then most surgeons will recommend 4 to 6 weeks to allow for adequate healing.

Most importantly make sure that you clearly communicate your goals and concerns with your plastic surgeon as they will be in the best position to guide you through your post operative course.

I hope this helps. Best wishes

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Working After A Mommy Makeover

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Beginning with work one week after a mommy makeover is possible for many patients, but there will likely be some discomfort. Drains usually stay in from 10 days to 2 weeks depending on the surgeon. You should be able to sit after one week, but you should talk to your surgeon about the risks and steps you need to take to achieve a complete recovery.

Jaime Perez, MD
Mommy Makeover Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

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

Mommy Makeover Recovery

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It is very common for mommy makeovers to include both breast and tummy procedures.   Your surgeon will determine if an overnight stay at the hospital is warranted.   After surgery, your pain should be well managed with 1-2 oral pain pills every 4-6 hours.   All my mommy makeover patients are ambulating a few hours after surgery (of course walking flexed at their waist given the tummy tuck).   Most surgeons will likely recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.  Most of my mommy makeover patients are comfortable with driving 7-10 days after their surgery.  generally recommend taking 7-10 days off from a desk job after a mommy makeover procedure.  Doing too much too soon can definitely increase your risk of healing problems or fluid collections (seromas).

Every surgical plan is unique/different so I encourage you to direct these questions to your surgeon and his staff.  It is very important you allow enough time for yourself and your recovery.  Mommy Makeovers are truly transforming procedures.  I'm sure you'll love your results.   Please plan and give enough time for your recovery.  Best of luck.
Dr. Basu
houston, tx

Recovery time after mommy makeover

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Your recovery time will depend on 1) your pain threshold, 2) your overall health, and 3) complexity of your mommy makeover surgery.  I have patients who have gone back to work couple days vs. couple weeks postop.  As long as you are taking narcotic pain medicine, you should not be driving.  You can hide drains if you wear not so snug clothes.  Drains normally stay in 1-2 weeks depending on the amount of fluid your body makes.   Although I encourage all my patients to start ambulating on the same day (if not the next day) of the surgery, you should take as much time off from work as you can to recover from the surgery.  You should discuss with your plastic surgeon your concerns in regards to recovery/returning back to work.  Each plastic surgeon has different recommendation in regards to postoperative care and activity limitation.

Heading Back to Work 1 week after a Mommy Makeover

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This type of conversation always worries me.   As plastic surgeons, we always strive to make our patient's recovery as safe and comfortable as possible.   Regardless, the early postoperative period can be stressful for the patient.  

I find the most stressed out patients are those who are trying to cut corners and get back to work sooner than recommended.   This can result in unnecessary complications from moving too much too early or loss of job if there is a setback requiring further medical attention.

There is very little that can be done to speed up a patients recovery, because much of this recovery depends on a patients medical history, age, and amount of surgery performed.  I frequently recommend that my patients only perform surgery if they can afford to take off the necessary recovery time.   If all your employer can offer you is 1 week, I would recommend that you reconsider your surgery to a time when you can recover safely.


I wish you all the best!!

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Return to work following a mommy makeover.

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One week may be a bit early for a return to work. Recovery does depend upon the degree of surgery being performed. An abdominoplasty alone can take a few weeks before one is back to their normal routine. A frank discussion with both your plastic surgeon and your boss is imperative.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Return to work after mommy makeover

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Mommy makeovers are designed for each individual patient but usually include some type of breast surgery and a tummy tuck.  Recovery depends on exactly what is done.  The biggest factor is whether or not muscle plication (tightening) is performed with the abdominoplasty.  If the muscles are repaired then there is more tightness and more discomfort.  For a desk job a week off work should be adequate as long as you recognize that you will not be 100% (especially if you need pain meds) for probably 4 weeks.  The drains are usually well tolerated, even at work.

Recovery time after mommy makeover

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Most patients return to work 1-2 weeks after mommy makeover.  If you are planning to return after just 1 week, you should expect to still have discomfort, perhaps significant, and you may still have a drain.  Since everybody's recovery time may be different, you may or may not feel completely ready to return to work at 1 week.

Arnold S. Breitbart, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 160 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.