Out of Town for Mommy Makeover-Augmentation and Tummy Tuck-how Can I Improve Healing and Safety?

I am going out of town (9 hours away by car--terrified of planes) for an augment and tummy tuck. I have large amount of excess skin on my lower stomach by the groin. They told me to expect to stay at 7 days, but I took two full weeks off of work and booked 10 nights in a hotel. Is this enough? Is there anyway to improve healing or safety? Also-will I be ready to go home? I know that the drains are an issue and I can only leave once their gone. Is there anything I can do to be safer/heal faster?

Doctor Answers 8

Guidelines for Out of Town Mommy Makeover

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I personally like my patients from out of town to plan on staying locally for  10-14 days assuming no problems with healing. Your surgeon will be the best one to advise you on your particular case. 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.
If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 10-14 days, with the understanding that you can still have discomfort with motion. Please discuss this with the doctor and the nursing staff. Excess swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do.
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.

Out-of-town mommy make over recovery

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Thank you for your question. For most single plastic surgery procedures I recommend that out of town patients stay in the local area for at least 10 days.

However you are having multiple procedures with drains and although 10 days may be enough I suggest that you have the flexibility to extend your stay to 2 weeks if needed.

Of course your plastic surgeon will advise U on your recovery. However being up and around walking as soon as possible does speed your recovery. I also suggest that you have someone with you to watch out for you and help you with your daily activities.or you are before

Improve healing and safety

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That seems reasonable in terms of the time you have taken off. You need to walk frequently and stop often while driving back home. make sure someone is with you and eat a balanced diet. Follow your doctors directions

Recovery Time Mommy Makeover

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My best suggestion is to get written instructions from your Plastic Surgeon for both the pre and post op period.  

Here are my suggestions for the best Mommy Makeover Recovery that I give to my patients:

  • Get the optional pain pump. Your recovery is much less painful with a pain pump! As a result, patients tend to heal quicker because they are moving around and eating normally sooner.
  • Get your medications filled out before your surgery
  • Stop taking aspirin and all herbals to reduce bleeding 
  • Since I use IV Sedation instead of General Anesthesia, most of my patients do not experience much nausea after surgery. Therefore I do not have specific instructions for ambulation (walking), as blot clots in the legs are not an issue with IV sedation.
  • Don't remove the pads in your garment for the first 5 days
  • Wear the compression garment religiously for 2 weeks
  • Get plenty of rest and fluids
  • Drains should come out in 4-7 days
  • Call me on my cell phone if you have swelling, temperature, or extreme pain during the immediate post op period.

Below is a video I made a few years ago about the tummy tuck. Good luck with your procedure!


Ricardo L Rodriguez

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Out of Town Mommy Makeover

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Thank you for your question.

The longer you can stay in the town to be close to your surgeon the better (for your piece of mind as well as your surgeons). I usually ask my tummy tuck patients to try to stay in town for a minimum of 2 weeks.

No one can say when the drains will be ready to be removed (depends on how much fluid is draining) but if you are flexible with your dates to return home and you follow your surgeons advice, hopefully all will be well.

Best wishes.

Assistance During Your Stay Is important, Along With These Tips

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The most important thing you can do to help your recovery is to follow your surgeon's pre and post operative care instructions. These instructions have been designed to facilitate the entire surgical experience, from the very beginning, before you even step into the operating room. It's great that you booked 10 days instead of 7, because it's always better to err on the side of caution. The amount of time you need to recover really depends on your body, and it's quite difficult to determine if the amount of time suggested for you is adequate. You can look at how you recovered from other surgeries you've had in the past - did you need a lot of time or were you back to daily activities sooner than later? Generally, if you're healthy and follow your surgeon's care instructions, you should be okay in the time period suggested by your surgeon. Drains are usually removed within 2 weeks.


I recommend traveling with one or two people who you can trust and can help you during your stay. That way, you'll be more comfortable dealing with the recovery period. If you're traveling alone, you may be able to hire a nurse in that city to help you out instead. When traveling home, you'll still be in a delicate state. Make sure to make regular stops so you can walk around and keep the blood circulating to prevent the formation of deep clots.


Here are some tips that I provide my patients following their Mommy Makeover:

1. Make sure you reduce any pulling on the incisions from your tummy tuck. You can walk slightly bent forward and when lying down, keep pillows under your knees and head so you're bent at the waist (or sleep on your side in a slight fetal position).

2. Don't lie around all day during your recovery. Walk around a bit to help your circulation. This helps to prevent deep clots in your leg veins and can help with the recovery process.

3. For your breasts, make sure you don't make any sudden jerky movements and move your arms slowly.

4.Wear your compression garment for the entire time your surgeon specifies.


Finally, make sure you have a doctor or surgeon who can provide you with assistance once you get back home. Any complications should be reported to them immediately (as well as to your performing surgeon), wherever you are.

Tummy tuck and augmentation

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A word to the wise. If you are looking for safety, do not do the 2 procedure at the same time. By combining the 2, you increase the risk of complicaions. Both procedures are uncomfortable and they might impair your ability to breath. Also, if you do not ambulate enough, you increase your  risk of a blood clot. Drains do not have to be an issue. I do not use drains, instead I use quilting sutures that prevent fluid accumulation. You can ask your surgeon about that option. In regard to your 10 nights stay, on average it is sufficient, but it is a personal matter. I have patients who recovered in 3-4 days and others it took 3 weeks. One last thing, on your way home, drink lots of fluids and stop the car frequently and walk.  This will help to reduce the chance of blood clots.

               Best of luck,

                                                Dr Widder 

Healing after Mommy Makeover

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It's impossible to judge, in advance, how you will heal and how quickly you will feel well enough for that 9 hour return car trip. In terms of safety, adhere to your plastic surgeon's preop instructions. Have a contingency plan in case you need to remain longer in the event of a complication. Just having planned for the eventuality will ease your mind because you will be prepaed. You should remain at the location until your sutures have been removed. Also, plan for how you will deal with followup care, particularly since you are afraid of flying. Wishing you the best of luck in your makeover!

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.