What is the Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck. How Long Would I Have to Take off of Work?

Doctor Answers 16

Time off of Work?

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Thank you for your question.

After a #tummytuck #surgery, #swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

I suggest waiting 6 weeks before returning to full activity without restrictions.

Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Time Off Work after Tummy Tuck

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It all depends on the physical requirements of your work and how fast you heal.
Here are some general guidelines:
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.
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.

Time of following tummy tuck

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I tell my patients a minimum of two weeks following a tummy tuck.  This is a big hit and patients really need time to rest and heal.  Also, I warn patients that their energy level will be really low for up to six weeks and to avoid overscheduling either work or social or family obligations during that time. 

Rushing recovery is really not possible and only results in frustration and discomfort and exhaustion.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Time off work for tummy tuck

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It depends largely on what kind of work you do. If you do heavy lifting, you will probably need light duty at first. If you do office type work, figure on 10 to 14 days.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Recovery After Tummy Tuck #tummytuck

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Recovery varies depending on the patient and how much surgery is needed. A mini tummy tuck has a quicker recovery than a full tummy tuck. Usually I tell my patients to expect at least one and maybe 2 weeks off. Then long term they are not able to perform any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting more then 20 pounds for 6 weeks. I have them use abdominal compression for at least 6 weeks as well. Each surgeon has a different set of post operative instructions. Expect to be sore for at least two weeks. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Recovery after tummy tuck

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As you can tell from the answers to your question, the recuperation varies from patient to patient and also from surgeon to surgeon. As your surgeon knows you best and what he or she has planned for you, he or she is the best one to ask about how long you would need to recuperate after your surgery. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

What is the Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck?

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Although recovery varies from patient to patient, most will be ready to return to office type work setting in 2-3 weeks.

I recommend that my patients book 3 weeks off, just in case.

Exercise can be started at 4-6 weeks after surgery.

More physical labor requires 4-6 weeks as well.

Hope this helps.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Recovery Time After a Tummy Tuck

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The time to full recovery and resumption of  routine daily activities  are different.  People with a sedentary job of low to moderate stress are usually able to return to work within two weeks.  Those with a very physical job are more likely to need a month out of work. Exercise should be limited to low impact and a low pulse rate the first month.  You should be back to full exercise by six weeks if you have an issue free recovery. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Recovery Period for a Tummy Tuck

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The answer would depend entirely on what your job requirements are. For patients with a desk job, 2 weeks would be an average time off, assuming no complications. You can expect more fatigue than pain at that time. The time off would be longer for more active jobs.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy Tuck recovery is generally about 6 weeks

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After a tummy tuck there are drains which usually are removed within the first 2 weeks.  After that, activity can be progressively increased.  By 6 weeks most people resume normal activities.  I usually want my patients to wear a abdominal binder for at least 6 weeks which helps protect the muscle repair. At times I prefer that patients wear the binder for up to 3 months when exercising. The binder helps protect and keep the tummy flat while it is healing.  The entire internal healing process takes about 6 months, but people usually feel normal after about 4-6 weeks.  The healing varies from person to person but most people heal within these times.  In the link below there is more information about tummy tuck surgery.

Dev Wali, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 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.